Italian researchers are applying the tools of modern forensic science in an attempt at solving an ancient mystery—the identity of the woman painted by Leonardo Da Vinci in his famous “Mona Lisa”, also known as “La Gioconda”:
The remains of del Giocondo, his son by Gheradini — Piero — and Gheradini’s stepson Bartolomeo have been uncovered in their family crypt, the authority of Florence has announced.
A team led by Silvano Vinceti accessed the remains beneath the Chapel of the Holy Martyrs, in Florence on August 6, it said in a statement.
Last year, Vinceti’s team exhumed the remains of eight women from the ruins of a Franciscan convent in Florence where old city records said Gheradini had been buried.
A laboratory at the University of Bologna had established that three of the skeletons at the St. Ursula convent were consistent with the age at which Gheradini had died, the statement said.
Further carbon testing to establish which of those skeletons dated from the 16th century — when Gheradini died — was being carried out at the University of Salento, it quoted Vinceti as saying.
If DNA taken from the del Giocondo family remains matched one of the skeletons found in the convent ruins, the skeleton could be confirmed as Gheradini’s, he said.
Scientists could then reconstruct Gheradini’s face and compare it to da Vinci’s mysterious portrait.