Huffpost Arts

Mona Lisa Gives More Than Just An Enigmatic Stare: Historians Discover Numbers And Letters In Her Eye

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Leonardo Da Vinci's most famous work of art, the Mona Lisa, has been pored over by everyone from tourists to art historians, from amateurs to experts, for many years. Yet no one saw what Luigi Borgia, a member of the National Committee for Cultural Heritage in Italy, found in an old dusty book on the painting - a sequence of numbers and letters hidden within those famously enigmatic eyes. Does anyone else feel another Da Vinci Code sequel coming? In one eye, the historians found LV (likely for the painter's initials) and in the other, they're still determining whether the figures are C and E, B and S, the number 72, or L2.

According to the Telegraph, Borgia said

the 50 year old volume describes how the Mona Lisa's eyes are full of various signs and symbols and he added: "We are only at the start of this investigation and we hope to be able to dig deeper into this mystery and reveal further details as soon as possible. It's remarkable that no-one has noticed these symbols before and from the preliminary investigations we have carried out we are confident they are not a mistake and were put there by the artist.

Da Vinci's masterpiece has long been thought to be a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of a very successful silk and fabric merchant in Florence, but with these letters and possible numbers (that don't seem to add up to LG), that long held belief may be called into question. The discovery of the figures, while enticing and thrilling to speculate on, have yet to reveal... what exactly they reveal - they could be obsolete and meaningless or they could unlock the secret to the real identity of the Mona Lisa. The painting is such an iconic work for a number of reasons, not least of which is how much mystery has always surrounded it. Dan Brown clearly chose his subject matter well.

(Image: Getty Images. Mona Lisa C.1503-5 Leonardo da Vinci(1452-1519 Italian) Oil On Wood Panel,Musee du Louvre, Paris, France)