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The face of World War One comes to National Museum

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Sculptor Christian Corbet with the portrait bust of Irish-born Canadian soldier Pte Thomas Lawless, who died in France in 1915. Photo: Paul Sherwood.

Sculptor Christian Corbet with the portrait bust of Irish-born Canadian soldier Pte Thomas Lawless, who died in France in 1915. Photo: Paul Sherwood.

Sculptor Christian Corbet with the portrait bust of Irish-born Canadian soldier Pte Thomas Lawless, who died in France in 1915. Photo: Paul Sherwood.

THE National Museum of Ireland is acquiring a rare work of art for its permanent collection – a forensic facial reconstruction sculpture depicting a World War One soldier.

The portrait bust is of the Irish-born Canadian soldier Private Thomas Lawless, who fell in battle in Avion near Vimy, France in 1915.

Pte Lawless's remains were not discovered until 2003. It took eight years for a positive identification to be made.

In a project headed by the Department of National Defence and the University of Western Ontario Canada, renowned artist Christian Corbet was asked to put a face back to a copy of the skull.

The reconstruction took less than 30 hours to complete and became known as the first identification of a World War One soldier based on forensic reconstruction.

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