Earliest known copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa found at Spain’s Prado Museum

MADRID (AP).- A “Mona Lisa” copy owned by Spain’s Prado Museum was almost certainly painted by one of Leonardo da Vinci’s apprentices alongside the master himself as he did the original, museum officials said Wednesday. The stunning find of what the Prado now says is probably the earliest known copy of La Gioconda will give art lovers and experts an idea of what the Mona Lisa looked like back in the 16th century, said Gabriele Finaldi, the museum’s deputy director collections. “It is as if we were in the same studio, standing at the next easel,” he told reporters. The copy has been part of the Prado collection for years and displayed occasionally but no one paid much attention to it because around the woman in the Mona Lisa was a stark black