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Leonardo da Vinci's Florence workshop found

UPI News Service, 01/12/2005 

The long-sought studio where Leonardo da Vinci created art in Renaissance Florence has been found at a fresco-embellished monastery.

The workshop where da Vinci is thought to have painted "Mona Lisa" was uncovered at Santissima Annunziata, a space occupied for the past 100 years by the Italian Institute of Military Geography, the Times of London reported.

Solving the centuries-long mystery was an "emotional moment," said Cristina Acidini, head of conservation and restoration in Florence. Newly found frescos may have been created by da Vinci or his students, experts said in announcing the discovery Tuesday.

Renaissance biographer Giorgio Vasari wrote the friars of Santissima Annunziata took da Vinci "into their house" but the location of the studio was a mystery until the recent discovery.

The researchers, Maria Carchio, Alessandro Del Meglio and Roberto Manescalchi, also found a hidden staircase and doorway from the monastery to the workshop that had been covered up by previous remodeling.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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