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Historian searches for Mona Lisa's remains

April 28, 2011 at 4:13 PM

FLORENCE, Italy, April 28 (UPI) -- An Italian art historian is leading the search for the remains of the woman believed to have been Leonardo da Vinci's model for the Mona Lisa.

Art historian Silvano Vinceti said he is "reasonably confident" the remains of Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo will be found beneath a former chapel at what used to be the St. Ursula convent in Florence, ANSA reported Thursday.

"We're looking underneath the cement that was laid down when the convent was supposed to be turned into a barracks in the 1980s. Eventually we'll start digging," he said.

Vinceti said any remains discovered would be DNA tested and compared to samples taken from her two children buried in Florence.

"Subsequently, we're hoping to reconstruct her physiognomy," Vinceti said.

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