Italy TravelDa Vinci’s Hair Found in United States

Da Vinci’s Hair Found in United States
Published on Friday, May 10, 2019 by

A scientist, painter, sculptor, mathematician…and posthumous overseas traveler? A lock of hair potentially belonging to Leonardo da Vinci was found across the ocean in the United States, hidden in an American collection.

The credibility of the discovery, does not come without controversy. The relic was purchased in 1925 by an American collector in Paris and sold in recent years to another American collector. Claims were made stating that damages to Leonardo’s original grave site during the French Revolution left no possibility for the discovery of his hair five centuries after his death.

The lock of hair is labeled in French as “Les Cheveux de Leonardo da Vinci,” or “the hair of Leonardo da Vinci.” To confirm that the hair is indeed the hair of the famous Renaissance man, DNA testing is set to be carried out. The data from the strands will be compared with living descendants of Leonardo and with DNA taken from Leonardo’s tomb in Amboise, France. DNA testing of the sample could result in an answer, but some believe that the likelihood of linking the hair to Leonardo is extremely low considering he left no direct heirs.

To mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, his hometown of Vinci will have the lock of hair on display as a part of the “Leonardo Vive” exhibition at the Museo Leonardiano, open to the public starting May 2, 2019. In addition to the hair on display, other documents and artwork from National Museums will be exhibited, some for the first time ever.

By Kathy McCabe

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