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Looking for the real Mona Lisa in the wrong place, art detective says

Researchers looking for the remains of the subject of the "Mona Lisa" painting may be looking in the wrong place in Florence, Italy, the leader of the mission suggested.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   May 1, 2014 at 2:38 PM   |   Comments

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FLORENCE, Italy, May 1 (UPI) -- The remains of the woman who posed for the iconic Leonardo Da Vinci painting “Mona Lisa”, currently the subject of an excavation in Florence, Italy, may be buried elsewhere, the leader of the archeological dig said.

A high-profile, three-year search for the tomb of Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo at the sprawling former Sant’Orsala convent may be the wrong place to look, said Silvano Vinceti, who was commissioned by Italy’s Heritage Committee to find the real Mona Lisa.

After successive archeological digs and analysis of bone DNA of modern-day relatives of the woman who posed for the painting, Vinceti is relying on history and tradition to suggest she is buried in the Santissima Annunziata basilica in Florence, with other family members.

“We know from certified documentation that buried in the chapel (of the basilica) we have the remains of her husband Francesco and their son Piero,” he said.

He added she may have been moved there after the chapel was rebuilt in 1640, a “custom of the time,” he said.

The famous painting, now in the Louvre in Paris, was completed in the early 1500s. If scientists can find the proper remains, they intend to digitally reconstruct how she looked.

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