'Mona Lisa' model's burial site found

Jan. 18, 2007 at 12:01 PM
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FLORENCE, Italy, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The burial site for Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa has been found in a former convent in Florence.

Leonardo scholar Giuseppe Pallanti said documents indicate she was buried in the city's former Convent of St. Orsula in the heart of the city, ANSA said Thursday.

"I've pored through thousands of archive pages and I'm convinced the remains of Leonardo's model Lisa Gherardini was buried there," Pallanti said.

Pallanti said his research eliminates doubt about the identity of La Gioconda, as the Italians call the Mona Lisa because of her husband's surname, Giocondo.

"It was her, Lisa, the wife of the merchant," Pallanti said.

It has been suggested that del Giocondo commissioned Leonardo for the painting to mark his wife's pregnancy or the recent birth of their second child in December 1502.

However, others said the painting is a self-portrait or of one of his male lovers in disguise, citing the fact that Leonardo kept the painting with him until his death in France in 1519.

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