Lost Leonardo Da Vinci battle scene sparks row between art historians

Historians in the News

A 35-year hunt for a lost masterpiece by Leonardo Da Vinci now reaching its hi-tech climax in Florence is facing a backlash from more than 100 art historians on both sides of the Atlantic who have signed a petition seeking to stop the work that could uncover it.

The row centres on a wall in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio bearing a 16th century fresco which, according to researcher Maurizio Seracini, conceals another wall on which Da Vinci started painting The Battle of Anghiari, a monumental battle scene considered by some his finest work.

Seracini, who works at the University of California, San Diego, and is featured in Dan Brown's mystery The Da Vinci Code, inserted tiny cameras through drilled holes in the main wall a week ago and found a 2cm cavity. Traces of an organic pigment were located on the back wall, convincing some that the Da Vinci masterpiece exists. With full results expected in the new year, Florence's mayor, Matteo Renzi claimed: "We are finally there – after five centuries we are able finally to resolve this mystery."...

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