Unmasking Mona Lisa: Will scientists discover her true identity through DNA and radiocarbon testing?

June 12, 2018 - General
Mona Lisa - Leonardo Da Vinci

The identity of the woman who sat for Leonardo da Vinci’s world renowned painting, The Mona Lisa, is a mystery that researchers have long sought an answer to.

Most experts believe the woman depicted in the famous painting is Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo, and that several remains found in a convent in Florence in 2011 could be her. They exhumed Del Giocondo family members who were buried in a separate family tomb that was opened in 2013 for the first time in centuries in an attempt to determine if it is really her through DNA matching.  However, DNA tests on Gherardini’s sons reportedly failed.

The chair of Italy’s National Committee for the valorization of historic, cultural and environmental heritage, Silvano Vinceti says that comparison of DNA from the remains found in the convent to that of Gherardini’s children, who are buried in the family tomb, will not be possible, as previously thought, reports Arts Culture & Style (ANSA). Vinceti tells ANSA that “extracting DNA from Gherardini’s family was impossible.”

Instead, carbon-14 dating tests are now hoped to confirm that the human remains found in the Florence convent date back to the 16th century. If so, they may be connected to the death of Lisa Gherardini, who was recorded to have died in the convent July 15, 1542.

The skull and remains exhumed from beneath a convent in Florence thought to be Lisa Gherardini, who posed for Leonardo da Vinci.

Source: origins

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