Last Supper dished up in digital

Last Supper dished up in digital

16 billion pixel Da Vinci painting available online

Italian digital imaging specialist HAL9000 is inviting art aficionados the world over to view a 16 billion pixel version of Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper on its website.

The huge image is the highest definition photograph available anywhere in the world, according to HAL9000.

Viewers can enlarge any portion of the painting, providing a detailed view of sections of the masterpiece down to one square millimetre.

The Last Supper depicts Christ predicting that one of his apostles will betray him, and is one the most discussed and controversial works of art of all time thanks to Dan Brown's best selling novel The Da Vinci Code.

Some aficionados even believe that the painting proves that Christ married Mary Magdelene, with whom he subsequently fathered a child.

The 500 year-old mural recently inspired further theoretical controversy when information technologist and amateur scholar Slavisa Pesci posited that the superimposition of the mural with its mirror-image created two further images: one resembling a Templar knight, the other a young child.

Vincenzo Mirarchi, general manager of HAL9000, told Reuters that the decision to post the image on its website was motivated by art appreciation rather than creating further controversy surrounding the meaning of the mural.