Mona Lisa mystery: Leonardo Da Vinci to be exhumed

Mona Lisa picture
Leonardo Da Vinci's remains are to be exhumed to allow scientists to discover whether the Mona Lisa is a disguised self-portrait.

Scientists and historians from Italy's National Committee for Cultural Heritage have sought permission to open the artist's tomb in France's Loire Valley.

Mystery has surrounded the identity of the Mona Lisa and has been debated for centuries. Some scholars have suggested that da Vinci may have painted himself as a woman in the masterpiece due to his love of riddles.

Experts believe that if they find the Renaissance painter’s skull, they can recreate his face and compare it to the Mona Lisa.

The Italian research team said talks about the exhumation with French cultural officials and the owners of the chateau have resulted in an agreement in principle. The project could receive formal permission this summer.

Da Vinci was originally buried in a church that was destroyed in the French revolution of 1789 and his remains were then reburied in the castle's smaller chapel of Saint-Hubert in 1874.

Speculation on the sitter has also ranged from Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a Florentine merchant, to Da Vinci's mother.

Via - ABC News , Telegraph

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