Archaeologists in Italy may have finally found the final resting place of Lisa Gherardini , the model who is said to have posed for Leonardo's da Vinci's infamous 'Mona Lisa' painting.
Gherardini was the wife of a rich silk merchant named Francesco del
Giocondo. Most historians agree that the lady depicted in the Mona Lisa
was Lisa del Giocondo, who became a nun after her husband's death. She
died at the age of 63 in July 1542.
The bones were found beneath the remains of an altar in the church of the now derelict Convent of St. Orsola.
"That altar was certainly in use at Lisa Gherardini's time," said Valeria D'Aquino, an archaeologist at the Tuscan Superintendency..
D'Aquino and colleagues had to dig through a foot of concrete before they unearthed a brick crypt containing the bones.
The bones will undergo tests to establish if they match the skull found last year. The DNA in the bones will be compared with the remains of the model's two children.
Once the scientists have verified that the skeleton and skull belong to the model, forensic artists will attempt to reconstruct her face and see how it compares to the 500-year-old version painted by da Vinci. This might also help in solving the riddle behind the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile.