Aug 12, 2013
By Scott Walker
Scientists are preparing to use modern technology to solve a 500-year-old mystery: who was the Mona Lisa.
Experts have long believed Leonardo da Vinci’s model may have been Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a silk merchant in Florence.
Gherardini died in a convent in Florence, where scientists have uncovered three skeletons. They have since opened a tomb of Gherardini’s family to extract DNA from the remains inside. If it matches DNA from one of the skeletons at the convent, they will have identified Gherardini’s remains. Then they will use modern techniques to generate an image of her face from the skull of the skeleton. If it matches, they will know for sure the name of the model with the enigmatic smile in one of the world’s most famous paintings.
The Mona Lisa is one of the main attractions at the Louvre in Paris.