Italian Scientists Believe Leonardo da Vinci Painted Himself as “Mona Lisa”

ROME (AP).- The legend of Leonardo da Vinci is shrouded in mystery: How did he die? Are the remains buried in a French chateau really those of the Renaissance master? Was the “Mona Lisa” a self-portrait in disguise? A group of Italian scientists believes the key to solving those puzzles lies with the remains — and they say they are seeking permission from French authorities to dig up the body to conduct carbon and DNA testing. If the skull is intact, the scientists can go to the heart of a question that has fascinated scholars and the public for centuries: the identity of the “Mona Lisa.” Recreating a virtual and then physical reconstruction of Leonardo’s face, they can compare it with the smiling face in the painting, experts involved in the project told The Associated Press.