“Last Supper” to go online

MILAN (Reuters) – A high-resolution image of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” will soon be posted on the Internet by an Italian technology firm, allowing art lovers and conspiracy theorists alike to scrutinize it from their own computers.

The digital imaging firm, called HAL9000 after the killer computer in Stanley Kubrick‘s film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” will post the 16-17 giga pixel image on its Web site (www.haltadefinizione.com) on Saturday.

Located in a former monks’ dining hall adjacent to a church in Milan, the 500-year-old mural by Leonardo Da Vinci depicts Jesus Christ when he predicts that one of his apostles will betray him.

Since the publication of the phenomenally successful novel, “The Da Vinci Code,” theories have abounded about the true meaning of the mural, known in Italian as “Cenacolo.”

In the novel, Dan Brown writes that Jesus Christ married his follower, Mary Magdelene, and fathered a child.

Others have since elaborated on the controversial idea.

The latest was put forward last summer by Slavisa Pesci, an information technologist and amateur scholar, leading to Web sites linked to the mural to crash.

Pesci said the superimposition of the mural with its mirror-image threw up another image containing a figure looking like a Templar knight and another holding a small baby.

HAL9000 General Manager Vincenzo Mirarchi told Reuters on Thursday the reason behind the firm’s decision to post the image on its Web site was to provide an innovative way to appreciate art rather than encourage speculation about its meaning.

“This will make it easier for people to see it,” he said, referring to the difficulties of arranging a visit to the hall where the mural is located.

So many tourists visiting Milan want to see it that they often have to make reservations at least a month in advance.

The posting of the “Last Supper” on the site, a project that has received technical support from Italian publisher De Agostini, will likely bring more hits to the firm’s Web site than other images posted in the past, said Mirarchi.

“We could have a few million visitors,” he said.

Among the other images is a fresco painted by Andrea Pozzo in 1685-1694 at the Sant’Ignazio di Loyola Church in Rome.

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Ticketless baseball fans in Denver

What if you threw a World Series and no one came because they couldn’t buy tickets?

That is the dilemma facing the Colorado Rockies on Monday after the baseball team suspended online ticket sales because servers were overwhelmed by traffic.

“We are as frustrated and disappointed as (fans) are,” Jay Alves told The Denver Post, adding that team officials had no idea so many people would try to use the Web site.

The team said it would honor the several hundred tickets already sold but it’s unclear how or when sales of tickets will resume for the series, which kicks off in Boston against the Red Sox on Wednesday. The series moves to Denver for game three on Saturday.

Tickets were supposed to go on sale at 10 a.m. MDT, but many fans reported getting messages at that time that the server was full when they attempted to make ticket purchases. The newspaper reported that the breakdown was due to a problem with the ticketing software operated by Paciolan, an Irvine, Calif.-based ticketing company. The problem reportedly also affected other Paciolan customers, including the University of Colorado football team.

Because ticket sales were planned to be conducted only online, many fans are apparently converging near Coors Field in hopes that the team will sell tickets in person through the box office; so many in fact that the police have closed streets around the ballpark and are erecting barricades, the paper reported.

Source: News.com

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