German experts crack Mona Lisa smile
German academics believe they have solved the centuries-old mystery behind the identity of the "Mona Lisa" in Leonardo da Vinci's famous portrait.
Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, has long been seen as the most likely model for the sixteenth-century painting.
But art historians have often wondered whether the smiling woman may actually have been da Vinci's lover, his mother or the artist himself.
Now experts at the Heidelberg University library say dated notes scribbled in the margins of a book by its owner in October 1503 confirm once and for all that Lisa del Giocondo was indeed the model for one of the most famous portraits in the world.
"All doubts about the identity of the Mona Lisa have been eliminated by a discovery by Dr. Armin Schlechter," a manuscript expert, the library was quoted by Reuters as saying in a statement on Monday.
Until then, only "scant evidence" from sixteenth-century documents had been available. "This left lots of room for interpretation and there were many different identities put forward," the library said.
The notes were made by a
Foreign film Oscar contenders whittled down to nine
Oscars organizers on Tuesday revealed a nine-movie shortlist of contenders for this year's best foreign film prize.
Bo Derek launches Canadian campaign against horse meat
Veteran American actress, horse lover and onetime Playboy model Bo
Derek launched a campaign Monday to stop horses from being slaughtered
for meat in Canada.