A human skeleton is seen at the excavation of a grave inside the medieval Convent of Saint Ursula in Florence.—AFP Photo
A human skeleton is seen at the excavation of a grave inside the medieval Convent of Saint Ursula in Florence.—AFP Photo

FLORENCE: Archaeologists working in Italy are thrilled to have discovered what they believe is the skeleton of the model who posed for the world’s most famous painting, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, states a report published in Daily Mail.

Buried five feet deep underneath the floor of the abandoned convent of Saint Ursul, the skeleton allegedly belongs to Lisa Gheradini, the wife of a wealthy silk merchant, Francesco del Giocondo. She became a nun after her husband’s death, and died at the convent in 1542, aged 63. Many historians believe that it was Lisa Gheradini who posed for Da Vinci’s famous painting.

Excavation work in the convent began in 2011 and archaeologists, using penetrating radar and ancient maps, discovered a crypt, supposedly Lisa’s burial site. They unearthed a female-sized human skull and other fragment of bones, along with the bones of two other people who are being alleged as her children.

The identity of the famous face has puzzled millions over the years and it is possible that the mystery has finally been solved with the discovery of her skeleton. However, the bones will have to undergo tests before it is confirmed that they belong to Lisa Gheradini. DNA tests will take place to see if they match with the bones of the children and the skull found earlier.

Finished in 1519, just before Da Vinci’s death, the painting is visited by approximately six million people each year in Paris, where it is displayed at the Louvre. It is owned by the French government.


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