Bone fragments found in Italian convent could be the real Mona Lisa

Bone fragments dating back to the 16th century are “very likely” to be that of the actual Mona Lisa, say Italian researchers. According to renowned art sleuth Silvano Vinceti, who has for years led the search to find the owner of the world’s most enigmatic smile, human remains uncovered in a Florence convent have a very high likelihood of belonging to Lisa Gherardini – whom many historians believe was the real-life model posing for Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous artwork.

Gherardini, the wife of silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, is thought to have posed for Da Vinci’s painting as a young woman, before her death in 1542. She is said to have spent her final days at the Sant’Orsola convent in Florence, from which archaeologists exhumed skeletal remains in 2012.

Their goal was to use carbon dating and DNA testing to establish a link to Gherardini’s children’s remains, separately exhumed from their resting place at the Giocondo family crypt in the city’s Santissima Annunziata basilica.

“There are converging elements, above and beyond the results of the carbon–14 tests, that say we may well have found Lisa’s grave,” Vinceti told reporters at an announcement of the results. “We can’t provide absolute certainty that some of the remains examined are Lisa’s, but the likelihood is very high.”

However, the researchers stopped short of announcing that the mystery was completely solved, as the state of the children’s remains was too degraded due to flooding over the centuries to allow DNA comparison with the bones found in Gherardini’s resting place. Source: Bone fragments found in Italian convent could be the real Mona Lisa, say researchers

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