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It is a 500-year-old mystery that could draw in the Queen, the Pope and the billionaire Bill Gates.
An international team of scientists are bidding to track down the real remains of Leonardo da Vinci, extract his DNA to shed new light on his character and create a model of what the great Renaissance genius would have looked like.
Cracking the real da Vinci code is expected to be difficult and some of the world’s leading experts in genetics – including some who worked with the FBI to identify those killed in the 9/11 attacks – will be working on the case.
The project could see hairs taken from paintings known to be his work, the owners of some of his hand-written journals – such as Queen Elizabeth, the Vatican and Mr Gates – could be asked to submit them for fingerprint tests, and suspected living relatives will be asked to provide samples of their DNA for analysis.
Da Vinci, famed for the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, is regarded as possibly the greatest-ever painter. He also designed plausible flying machines centuries before the age of flight – including a prototype helicopter – and drew incredibly intricate studies of human and animal anatomy.
But he has always been something of an enigma to historians, partly because of his own obsession with secrecy.
Read full, original post: Researchers plan to sequence Leonardo da Vinci’s DNA to reveal his true face