Painting of Anghiari Battle da vinci-USpublicdomainArt researchers and scientists said on Monday that a high-tech project using tiny video probes has uncovered evidence that a fresco by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci lost for five centuries may still exist behind a wall of Florence’s city hall.

“The research team has unlocked a mystery that has been with us for more than 500 years,” said Terry Garcia, an executive vice-president of the U.S. National Geographic Society, which sponsored the research.

Some believe that an Italian painter commissioned to cover the unfinished work was loathe to destroy Leonardo’s painting, so he built a new wall with an air gap of several centimeters in front of Leonardo’s piece in order to preserve what was left. Vasari, the artist, did leave an odd message, “cerca trova,” painted onto the midst of his vast war mural, which translates as “Seek and you shall find”.

The National Geographic Channel will air a documentary about the search Sunday, March 18.

(WATCH the video from ABC or READ the Reuters story in the Globe and Mail)


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