Mona Lisa mystery could be solved by woman's remains

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Researchers will attempt to identify the woman who sat for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, by digging up the remains of an Italian noblewoman.

Art historian Silvano Vinceti believes that by locating the remains of Lisa Gherardini, he can prove whether or not she was the artist's model.

A recently discovered death certificate suggests she died in 1542 and is interred in a convent in Florence.

The excavation will begin at Saint Orsola later this month.

The mystery behind the Mona Lisa and her enigmatic smile has baffled art experts for five-hundred years.

"We can put an end to a centuries-old dispute and also understand Leonardo's relations to his models," Vinceti told the Associated Press news agency.

"To him, painting also meant giving a physical representation to the inner traits of their personalities."...

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