Oct 16, 2010
What a pity! ‘Case le Passarini’, the rubbish tip near Florence which has been identified as the last resting place of the woman who modelled as Mona Lisa.
The remains of the Italian woman who was the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa were dug up 30 years ago and now lie in a municipal rubbish tip, an Italian expert has claimed.
Lisa Gherardini died in Florence in 1542 and was buried in the grounds of Sant’Orsola convent.
Over the centuries the Franciscan convent was used as a tobacco factory and a university teaching facility but in the 1980s a redevelopment was launched to convert it into abarracks for Italy’s tax police, the Guardia di Finanza.
The developers had no knowledge that it was the final resting place of da Vinci’s famous model – that was only discovered in 2007 – and during work to build an underground car park, the convent’s foundations were excavated, along with the crumbling remains of graves and tombs.
The rubble was then dumped in a municipal landfill site on the outskirts of Florence.
The prosaic end to the life of one of the best known figures in art history has only recently come to light through a fresh building project for the convent site.
Florence city council wants to turn the half-built police barracks, which has lain semi-derelict and bricked up for years, into a £23 million community arts centre.
Surveys of the site have shown that the site was excavated in the 1980s to such a depth that no tombs or other historical artefacts survived.
Gherardini is believed to have been born in Florence in 1479. At the age of 16 she became the second wife of a wealthy silk merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, with whom she had five children.
She moved into the convent after his death, staying there for the last four years of her life.
She is believed to have died in the convent at the age of 63 in 1542, according to a document unearthed three years ago by Mr Pallanti during his study.
Famous painting "Mona Lisa"
The death records on file of model for Mona Lisa, the file contains the exact location she was buried.
The descendants of the model for Mona Lisa, Sisters all live in a region of Italy Kusa Nuo
Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait