Italian researchers say that they have found two “relics” belonging to Leonardo da Vinci, which may help in sourcing the DNA of the genius whose work typified the Renaissance.
The mysterious relics were traced during a decades-long genealogical study into Leonardo's family.
Historian Agnese Sabato and Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the Museo Ideale in Vinci, will announce their findings on Thursday at a conference in the Tuscan town of Vinci, where the artist was born in 1452.
“I can’t yet disclose the nature of these relics,” Vezzosi told Seeker. “I can only say that both are historically associated with Leonardo da Vinci. One is an object, the other is organic material.”
If genuine, the organic relic would represent Leonardo’s only known biological evidence.
It was believed that no traces were left of the painter, engineer, mathematician, philosopher and naturalist. The remains of Leonardo, who died in 1519 at the age of 67 in Amboise, France, are known to have been dispersed before the 19th century.