Fresco Clue Launches Hunt for Lost Da Vinci

Artist's greatest work may be hidden behind palace fresco
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 20, 2009 4:15 AM CDT
The current mystery involving the "Lost Leonardo" masterwork in Florence could be a puzzle right out of the "Da Vinci Code."   (©mattwi1s0n)
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(Newser) – Like a mystery straight from the Da Vinci Code, an Italian palace fresco harbors a clue pointing to the existence of a hidden masterpiece, claims an art expert. Now Italian professor Maurizio Seracini has been granted permission to seek the painting considered Leonardo da Vinci's greatest work. Seracini believes the lost Battle of Anghiari is hidden behind a fresco in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio marked with the words: "Cerca trova," or "seek and you shall find."

The lost 1503 painting is an immense battle scene, three times the size of da Vinci's  Last Supper. Seracini, who had a cameo role in the Da Vinci Code, has already discovered a cavity behind the palace fresco, which he believes was constructed to protect the hidden work. “It was considered by Leonardo’s contemporaries to be his foremost masterpiece. It represented the highest achievements in art reached at the time," said Seracini.