'Tiny symbols' discovered in the Mona Lisa
14th December 2010
Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa could contain symbols that hint at the identity of the famous painting's model, experts have suggested.
Although it sounds like the plot of a Dan Brown novel, members of Italy's National Committee for Cultural Heritage claim that they have identified tiny numbers and letters in the picture using high-magnification techniques.
Silvano Vinceti, president of the committee, said that the letters 'LV' can be seen in the woman's right eye, which may represent da Vinci's initials, while 'CE' or 'B' are found in her left eye.
He added that the analysis showed another marking, which could be '72' or 'L2', within the arch of the bridge in the background of the painting.
'You have to remember the picture is almost 500 years old, so it is not as sharp and clear as when first painted,' Mr Vinceti commented.
The expert also claimed it is likely that da Vinci hid symbols in the Mona Lisa, as he was known to hold the painting in high regard and liked to place coded messages within his works.
Earlier this year, Mona Lisa Revealed author Giuseppe Pallanti claimed that the remains of Lisa Gherardini - who is widely regarded as being the portrait's model - now lie in a municipal landfill site in Florence, after being removed from their original resting place in a convent.