December 14, 2010
Experts Find That Mona Lisa Contains Hidden Code
Art detectives took a fresh look at the Mona Lisa on Sunday and noticed tiny letters and numbers hidden in the famous painting's eyes.
Experts say that the barely distinguishable letters and numbers that artist Leonardo da Vinci placed in the painting represent something of a real-life Da Vinci code.
Dan Brown, author of the best-seller The Da Vinci Code, wrote in the fictional story that the Mona Lisa contained hidden clues about the Holy Grail.
Silvano Vinceti, president of Italy's National Committee for Cultural Heritage, which spotted the symbols, told DailyMail "To the naked eye the symbols are not visible but with a magnifying glass they can clearly be seen."
"In the right eye appear to be the letters LV which could well stand for his name, Leonardo da Vinci, while in the left eye there are also symbols but they are not as defined."
"It is very difficult to make them out clearly but they appear to be the letters CE, or it could be the letter B."
"In the arch of the bridge in the background the number 72 can be seen or it could be an L and the number 2."
"You have to remember the picture is almost 500 years old so it is not as sharp and clear as when first painted."
"From the preliminary investigations we have carried out we are confident they are not a mistake and were put there by the artist."
A fellow committee member discovered a musty book in an antique shop referring to symbols in the Mona Lisa's eyes, which sparked the search in the painting.
Vinceti added: "Da Vinci put a special emphasis on the Mona Lisa and we know that in the last years of his life he took the painting with him everywhere."
"We also know that da Vinci was very esoteric and used symbols in his work to give out messages."
"Who knows, they may even possibly be a love message to the figure in the painting."
Vinceti is a member of a group that is trying to gain permission to exhume da Vinci's remains from his tomb at Amboise Castle in France's Loire Valley.
They want to find out if the artist's skull is there so that they can try and recreate his face and establish if the Mona Lisa is in fact a twist on a self-portrait of the artists, like some believe.