Italian forensics experts have been given permission to dig up the remains of the woman who reportedly posed for LEONARDO DA VINCI's Mona Lisa in an effort to find out more about her.
Historians confirmed longstanding reports that merchant's wife Lisa Gherandini was the artist's muse in 2009 and now researchers in Florence plan to investigate her bones to decipher what type of woman she was.
They hope their efforts will solve the mystery of the Mona Lisa's beguiling smile.
An amateur historian has traced Gherandini's burial site to the Convent of St. Ursula in Florence, where the socialite was reportedly laid to rest in July, 1542.
Project leader Silvano Vinceti, a respected art historian, has confirmed the dig will begin there next month (May11).