“Scientists at a university in Liverpool recently unveiled what they say is the most realistic portrait ever created of St. Nicholas of Myra, the popular 4th Century bishop best known as the inspiration for the modern-day figure of Santa Claus.
Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University’s Face Lab used a facial reconstruction system and 3D interactive technology to create the portrait, which was unveiled on Dec. 6, the feast day of St. Nicholas.
University Professor Caroline Wilkinson said the reconstruction relied on “all the skeletal and historical material” available, the BBC reports. A university spokeswoman said the new image uses “the most up-to-date anatomical standards, Turkish tissue depth data and CGI techniques.”
Among the features depicted in the saint’s image is a broken nose, which Wilkinson said had “healed asymmetrically, giving him a characteristic nose and rugged facial appearance.””