Category: Media & Culture / October 2, 2012 5:25 PM EDT
Researchers opened ancient graves in a dilapidated convent in Florence on Tuesday (October 2) as their hunt continues to find the remains of the woman who might have been the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.
A team of experts has been working in the Saint Orsola convent since April. They believe that the body of the woman who modeled for da Vinci back in the 16th century is buried there.
The real Mona Lisa, Italian art historians say, was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a rich Florentine silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo who is thought to have commissioned the portrait -- although there is no definitive proof of this.
The researchers say that if they can find her skull, they will be able to reconstruct her face and compare it with the painting.
Researchers say Gherardini spent the last years of her life at the convent, looked after by her two daughters who were nuns, and was buried there.
They are hoping the project will reveal crucial information about the bodies buried in the convent.