Is This The Real Mona Lisa? Skeleton Found Near Florence
Italian archaeologists announced Tuesday they found the skeleton of Lisa Gherardini, believed to be the model for Leonardo's masterpiece, which currently hangs in The Louvre in Paris.
Archaeologists have found the bones of a woman believed to be Lisa Gherardini, the woman whose face some believe was immortalized for eternity as the famous Mona Lisa. The human remains were exhumed from a crypt that lay beneath the altar at the Convent of St. Orsola in Florence, Italy for nearly 500 years.
It is believed that the altar at The Convent of St. Orsola in Florence was used during the life of Lisa Gherardini, according to People. Documents indicate that Gherardini may have been interred beneath the altar since 1542. She lies there no longer; her bones have been collected for DNA testing and radiocarbon dating. Her DNA will be compared to other bones, collected from the long-buried bodies of Gherardini's children.
The hunt for Gherardini's remains has been ridden with controversy, as many of her family members believe her body should be left in peace. Her descendent Natalia Guicciardini Strozzi, an Italian princess, told The Telegraph that the search for her bones was a "sacrilegious act." The princess then asked: "What difference would finding her remains make to the allure of Leonardo's painting?"