‘Long-lost Vinci work may have been found’

Art researchers and scientists said that a high-tech project using tiny video probes has uncovered evidence that a fresco by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci

Written by Reuters | Florence | Published: March 13, 2012 12:37 am

Art researchers and scientists said 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 project to find what has come to be known as the “Lost Leonardo” or “Battle of Anghiari” has been controversial,because researchers had to drill several holes into an existing work and because not all agree the fresco is still there. All traces of the original were lost when Giorgio Vasari renovated the great Sala dei Cinquecento in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio and was ordered to paint a new fresco,“The Battle of Marciano”. Some believe that Vasari was loathe to destroy Leonardo’s work,so he built a new wall with an air gap of several centimetres to preserve what was left.

Researchers used tiny,medical-style endoscopic probes and inserted them in existing cracks in the outer wall holding the Vasari fresco for samples. “We found traces of pigments that appear to have been used by Leonardo,” said Maurizio Seracini,an expert in art diagnostics.

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