20 April 2009
Maddie, two years later
Twenty-four months after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Praia da Luz, everyone wants to know how the little girl’s face now looks. An expert drew the portrait for 24horas
by Joaquim Eduardo Oliveira
A firmer looking, better defined features, longer hair, wider eyebrows and a firm “trace” around the eyes. The “dimples” on the cheeks remain. Could this be the face of Madeleine McCann, two years after her mysterious disappearance?
24horas launched the challenge, on Friday, for Margarida Aguiar, a portraitist with a degree from the Fine Arts Faculty at Lisbon University (FBAUL), to “age” the face of the little English girl, who is at the core of a media hurricane that refuses to dissipate, in 24 months. Curiously, a British newspaper published the same “exercise” yesterday, but with apparently different results.
24horas’ intention was to anticipate the “surprise” that Madeleine McCann’s parents may have when on the 3rd of May – the date of the child’s disappearance in 2007 – they sit down in the studio of the “Oprah” talk show, hosted by the not less media-exposed Oprah Winfrey, in Chicago, in the United States.
During the show, Gerry and Kate McCann will show the world (the show is broadcast in 144 countries) a digital image that represents the child how it would look today.
Watching them grow
And what did portraitist Margarida Aguiar do? “I increased the size of the face, trying to keep the eyes because I think that at that age, nothing much changes. The face changes more. I also thought that longer hair would make her look a bit older”, portraitist Margarida Aguiar told 24horas.
The young artist, aged 25, deals with children ages 3 to 6 every day, as she teaches extracurricular classes at a private school in Lisbon. “I watch them grow”, she said, while keeping a certain reserve over the proposal that she delivered to 24horas.
“One can’t be certain of how she would really look, the portrait is based on supposition”, this portrait expert says.
If a criminal police force would ever contact her to draw e-fits, it would be a job she would “eventually” accept, as she confesses. By hazard, out of the photographs that 24horas sent her, Margarida Aguiar’s choice coincided with the… Polícia Judiciária.
Forensic art for all occasions
Forensic art is a technique that the criminal police forces and the judicial circles usually recur to, and it may be fundamental in cases of simple identification of people, for detention purposes or even to condemn somebody. This speciality covers a series of disciplines, including composition, image treatment, progressive aging or even facial reconstruction or bodily post mortem (after death). The art of composite drawing has been used by investigators for a long time, all over the world. Who has never seen the bandit’s face on a poster with the word ‘Wanted’, in movies? And below it, the reward?
source: 24horas, 20.04.2009