Was Leonardo da Vinci actually an Arab?

December 8th, 2007 - 8:58 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec 8 (ANI): Leonardo Da Vinci, believed to be of Italian origin, may have actually been an Arab, an investigation into a single, complete fingerprint found on one of his paintings has revealed.

Scientists at the University of Chieti discovered the print, taken from the artist’s left index finger, after a thorough three-year examination of his works.

According to Professor Luigi Capasso, an anthropologist who led the team, the central coil of the fingerprint was a common pattern in the Middle East.

“Around 60 per cent of the Middle Eastern population have the same structure,” the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

He added that the revelation would give credence to the increasingly accepted academic theory that Da Vinci’s mother, Caterina, was a slave who came to Tuscany from Istanbul.

“We have documents that suggest she was Oriental, at least from the Mediterranean area. She was not a peasant of Vinci. Furthermore, her name was Caterina, which was very common among slaves in Tuscany at the time, Alessandro Vezzosi, an expert on Da Vinci and the director of the museum in his hometown of Vinci, said.

The team used the latest spectral scanning technology, and found more than 200 prints, but only one perfect specimen, on a painting called “Portrait of a Lady with an Ermine, as the genius used his finger to smudge the necklace’s shadow in the painting, which is from the Czartoryski museum in the Polish city of Krakow.

The fingerprint is also being used to recognize two paintings, which may shoot up in value to up to 70 million pounds each if they are found to be authentic.

“We are pleased that the fingerprint can be used to authenticate unknown works, or those we are unsure were carried out by the great genius,” said Prof Capasso.

A team of forensic policemen from Rome has studied La Madone de Laroque and Saint Catherine of Alexandria for fingerprints to determine if they match the new Da Vinci print.

The paintings are on show at the History of Biomedicine Museum at Chieti University.

Colonel Gianfranco de Fulvio, an Italian police forensic expert, said his team had taken several photographs of the surface of the two paintings and were busy checking to find a match.

“I’m used to working on fingerprints left by the Mafia, but the skill is similar. We are pretty confident about settling the matter,” he said. (ANI)

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