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

Images show an undated self portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci, left, and the Mona Lisa. A group of Italian scientists is seeking permission from French authorities to dig up Leonardo Da Vinci's body to conduct carbon and DNA testing in order to solve the mysteries of how he died, and whether the Mona Lisa was actually a self-portrait in disguise. - AP Photo/Reunion de Musees Nationaux di Parigi and Journal des Arts.

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. "We don't know what we'll find if the tomb is opened, we could even just find grains and dust," says Giorgio Gruppioni, an anthropologist who is participating in the project. "But if the remains are well kept, they are a biological archive that registers events in a person's life, and sometimes in their death."

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