Who was Mona Lisa? There are probably only few people on Earth who have not seen her portrait. But, none of us really knows who she was. Italian researchers decided to find out though. Unearthed bone fragments might help unveil her identity, as per their statements.
The famous Mona Lisa painting.
The bone fragments are said to date back to the 16th century. Italian researchers suggest that they might have belonged to the real Mona Lisa.
One of the researchers, Silvano Vinceti, has been looking for the real Mona Lisa for years. In his quest, he came upon human remains that were buried in a Florence convent believed to have belonged to a certain Lisa Gherardini. Researchers have speculated that it is highly likely for the latter to have been the real-life model posing for Leonardo Da Vinci.
Excavation works at the Sant’Orsola convent, Florence.Photo credits: Maurizio Degl’Innocenti/EPA
Gherardini was the spouse of a silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo. She might have posed for Da Vinci back in 1542. It is thought that she spent her last days in Sant’Orsola convent situated in Florence. The remains that are allegedly hers were exhumed by archaelogists in 2012. The remains of her children that were exhumed from the Giocondo family crypt in the city’s Santissima Annunziata basilica were to be used to establish a link to Gherardini’s using carbon dating and DNA testing.
“There are converging elements, above and beyond the results of the carbon–14 tests, that say we may well have found Lisa’s grave,” said Vinceti in a statement. “We can’t provide absolute certainty that some of the remains examined are Lisa’s, but the likelihood is very high.”
However, their task was not to be easy.
“Our biggest problem has been the fact that the fragments were very fragmented, very deteriorated,” said Giorgio Gruppioni, head of the forensic anthropology laboratory at Bologna University.
The scientists also planned to use facial reconstruction technology were a skull to be found among the remains. Unfortunately, no skull was spotted among the remains found in the tomb of the convent. Furthermore, DNA testing cannot be done either since no other known descendant of Gherardini has been identified.
Vinceti is positive that they have found her though.
“If you were to ask me what I personally, subjectively, think and feel, I’d say I believe that we have found her,” said Vinceti. “I have done my best because I believe in this and the results for me are most satisfying.”