Search starts for bones of likely Mona Lisa model - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Search starts for bones of likely Mona Lisa model


FLORENCE, Italy (AP) -- Italian researchers have begun looking for the remains of a Renaissance woman many believed posed for the "Mona Lisa."

The researchers used a geo-radar device Wednesday to search for underground tombs in a Florence convent where Lisa Gherardini is believed to be buried.

Tradition has long linked Gherardini, the wife of a rich silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo, to Leonardo da Vinci's painting, which is known in Italian as "La Gioconda" and in French as "La Joconde." Giorgio Vasari, a 16th-century artist and biographer of Leonardo, wrote that Leonardo painted a portrait of del Giocondo's wife.

Gherardini is believed to have died in 1542.

Researcher Silvano Vinceti says excavations will begin next month.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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