Remains of ‘Mona Lisa’ to be dug upApril 6th, 2011 - 10:34 pm ICT by IANS
London, April 6 (IANS) The remains of a woman believed to have been the model for Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ will be exhumed in a bid to recreate her face, a media report said Wednesday.
Professor Silvano Vinceti, a modern day Indiana Jones investigator, will lead the team that will exhume the remains, the Daily Mail reported.
The coffin of noblewoman Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo is believed to be buried at the Saint Orsola convent in Florence. She is thought to have been the woman behind the enigmatic smile of the ‘Mona Lisa’, the 500-year-old painting that is one of the most recognisable images in the world.
Vinceti said the aim of the dig is to find her bones and extract the DNA so they can rebuild her face.
“An initial survey of the building has revealed a 500-year-old crypt in the grounds below and we firmly believe it is the resting place of Lisa Gherardini, who was the inspiration for ‘Mona Lisa’,” he said.
“We will compare the DNA that we find in the bones from the former convent to those of remains in two other churches in Florence where two of her children are buried,” the daily quoted him as saying.
Lisa Gherardini, who died in 1542, was the wife of a rich silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo. In Italy, the ‘Mona Lisa’ is known as ‘La Gioconda’, the Mail reported.
Historians have already discovered her death certificate, which gives the resting place as the Saint Orsola convent.
Digging will begin at the end of the month. Ground searching radar will be used to locate the crypt.
The ‘Mona Lisa’ painting, owned by the French government, is so widely recognised and caricatured that it is considered the most famous painting in the world.
Da Vinci started to paint it in 1503 or 1504 and finished it in 1519, shortly before his death.
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Tags: churches in florence, coffin, convent, crypt, daily mail, death certificate, enigmatic smile, francesco del giocondo, french government, indiana jones, initial survey, la gioconda, leonardo da vinci, lisa gherardini, mona lisa painting, noblewoman, resting place, saint orsola, silk merchant, silvano