Have experts stumbled upon Mona Lisa's remains?

Last Updated: Sat, Aug 10, 2013 05:25 hrs

Washington: The identity of the raven-haired beauty painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1504 in one of his most famous paintings, Mona Lisa, has been subjected to much debate.

Experts have suspected the woman in the painting to be Lisa Gheradini Del Giocondo, the wife of a rich silk merchant.

Silvano Vinceti, who is in charge of the National Committee for the valuation of historic, cultural and environmental assets, found several skeletons in the basement of a Florence convent in St. Ursula last year, one of which is believed to be model's, Fox News reported.

To pinpoint the exact remains of Mona Lisa, Vincenti said that he is planning to open the tomb of Del Gioncondo's relatives, stone coffins that have remained sealed for the past 300 years in the Martyr's Crypt behind the main altar of Santissima Annunziata church in Florence, to see if DNA from those skeletons match any of the ones that were uncovered last year.

Vinceti said that currently they are carrying out Carbon-14 tests on three of the eight skeletons that are in the age group Del Giocondo was when she died.

He asserted that the Carbon-14 test is going to reveal to them which of the three dates back to the 1500s and only then will they be able to know which skeleton to do the final DNA test on.

The hunt for the remains of Mona Lisa has gone on since a 2007 book said that she was related to the Del Giocondo clan, something that most modern art historians are now in agreement with.

A statement from researchers said that after 1500, only two women have been there one was Mona Lisa Gherardini, in 1542, and another was a noblewoman, Maria del Riccio. 

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