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Monday
Dec132010

Mona Lisa Mystery: Experts Say Painting Contains Tiny Numbers, Letters

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONDON) -- Lovers of the famous Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece Mona Lisa have been wondering about the secret behind those sly eyes for hundreds of years, but few, if any, ever thought they could contain an actual code. But that's the latest theory put forth by experts who claimed they have uncovered tiny letters and numbers hidden in the nameless model's pupils.

"To the naked eye, the symbols are not visible but with a magnifying glass, they can clearly be seen," Silvano Vinceti of Italy's National Committee for Cultural Heritage, told Britain's Guardian newspaper.

In the left eye is a tiny L and V which Vinceti said could simply be a secret initial signature by Leonardo da Vinci. It's the right eye, however, that leave experts and conspiracy theorists scratching their heads.

"It is very difficult to make them out clearly, but they appear to be the letters CE, or it could be the letter B," Vinceti said. Vinceti also said the number 72, or possibly and L and the number 2, are also visible in arch of the bridge that is seen in the background of the painting.

Among the theories as to what the message could be in the symbols, Vinceti said it's possible they could reveal the painting's model, one of the art world's greatest mysteries.

Vinceti is among a team of historians determined to discover the truth about the Mona Lisa, even if it means exhuming da Vinci's body. One popular theory holds that the model for the painting is actually da Vinci himself. Skull measurements could help experts determine exactly how similar the model and da Vinci may have looked.

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ABC News Radio