(Italy Twitter)-Archeological excavations have begun at the St. Ursula convent in Italy in search of the tomb of a Renaissance lady, Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a Florentine merchant, Francesco del Giocondo.
Team will be using a special radar device to scan underneath an ex-chapel in the old convent of St Ursula for the next three days. The aim is to find the DNA of Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo and compare it with that of her two children buried in Florence's Santissima Annunziata church. Then, the team of experts hopes to reconstruct the woman's face.
Researchers hope to find whatever remains are left of her body – skull fragments, DNA, whatever – in hopes to recreate her face through facial reconstruction technology. If the bones can’t be used, the researchers hope to carbon date them and take DNA samples to test with Gherardini’s children, who are buried at a nearby church.
We're looking underneath the cement that was laid down when the convent was supposed to be turned into a barracks in the 1980s. Eventually we'll start digging," he added, as cited by ANSA.
The ex-convent was used to shelter WWII refugees in the 1940s and '50s before housing university classrooms in the following decades and then falling into disuse and becoming a dump.
It does seem a little brash and insensitive to go digging for bones but this expedition could solve one of the world’s biggest mysteries. Ignoring what the princess has said though, the researchers have started their hunt. They’ll use the geo-radar for three days to analyse what’s underneath the convent and then spend the next two weeks digging and excavating the site.