'Mona Lisa' skeleton possibly found in Florence

Experts hope to reconstruct face, 'enigmatic smile'

'Mona Lisa' skeleton possibly found in Florence

(ANSA) - Florence, July 18 - Tomb hunters have found a skeleton that may belong to the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Digging beneath the floor of the former convent of Saint Ursula in Florence, anthropoligists found the skeleton in tact and well-preserved late Tuesday. 'But until we have conducted carbon-14 testing, we cannot date with certainty the era in which this person lived,' said lead researcher Silvano Vinceti. Earlier in the day the team had already made a major breakthrough with the discovery of a 15th-century altar base, a major clue as the dead in this period were traditionally buried near altars. 'After 1500, only two women were buried here: Mona Lisa Gherardini, in 1542, and another noblewoman, Maria del Riccio,' said a team statement. Another skeleton was already unearthed last year. If the latest skeleton turns out to be that of Gherardini, experts may be able to reconstruct the woman's face and find out more about that famous smile.

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