Experts to DNA test ‘Leonardo da Vinci’s hair’ found in the US

Italian experts are set to do a DNA test on what they believe is a lock of Leonardo da Vinci's hair, found in a collection in the US, the Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci (Museum of Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci) announced on Monday.

Experts to DNA test 'Leonardo da Vinci's hair' found in the US
An image of Leonardo Da Vinci's 'Vitruvian Man' on display in Milan. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

“We found, across the Atlantic, a lock of hair historically tagged 'Les Cheveux de Leonardo da Vinci',”  said Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the museum.

“This lock of hair, which has remained a secret up until now in an American collection, will be exhibited in a world first along with the documents which attest to its ancient French origins,” Vezzosi said.

READ ALSO: Leonardo da Vinci revisited: Was he an environmentalist ahead of his time?

“This extraordinary relic will enable us to carry out research on his DNA,” he announced alongside other experts in a press release.

The find will be presented at a press conference on May 2, 2019, the 500th anniversary of his death.

Leonardo da Vinci died on May 2, 1519 in France, in the central town of Amboise, where he had been invited by French King Francois I.

He was born on April 15, 1452 in the small Italian town of Vinci, northwest of Florence.

The presentation will kick off an exhibit in Vinci titled 'Leonardo Vive' (Leonardo Lives). Special events and exhibitions are planned across Italy as well as abroad for the occasion.

The famous artist's life and work has been in the media spotlight this year ahead of the anniversary, with a series of intriguing revelations about da Vinci; experts announced that they believe he was ambidextrous and also had a common eye disorder which is thought to have helped him in his work.

Vinci, the Tuscan village where Leonardo Da Vinci was born. Photo: AFP


Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


La Bella Vita: Pasta, coffee, and the signs you’re becoming Italian

From how your eating habits become more Italian (without you even realising it) to the best ways to prepare and drink coffee, our new weekly newsletter La Bella Vita offers you an essential starting point for eating, talking, drinking and living like an Italian.

La Bella Vita: Pasta, coffee, and the signs you're becoming Italian

La Bella Vita is our regular look at the real culture of Italy – from language to cuisine, manners to art. This new newsletter will be published weekly and you can receive it directly to your inbox, by going to newsletter preferences in ‘My Account’ or follow the instructions in the newsletter box below.

The longer you spend in Italy, the more you might find yourself adapting to Italian culture in ways you didn’t expect. For Brits like me, that might mean swapping your tea with milk for black espresso. For Americans it could be that your tastebuds have slowly become less accustomed to spicy foods (good tacos are, sadly, hard to find in Italy). And you’ve heard all about the tomatoes, but are you eating more lentils yet?

Once you find yourself eating pasta on an almost daily basis and reacting to the idea of fast food with a heartfelt ‘che schifo!’ you’ll know there’s really no going back. These are just some of the eating and drinking habits you might see change over time:

17 ways your eating and drinking habits change when you live in Italy

With all that pasta in mind, if you want to make sure your favourite recipe is executed in truly flawless Italian style we’ve got some expert advice on nailing the technique for saucing all of your pasta dishes correctly every time – and there’s more to it than you might expect.

Ask an Italian: How do you sauce pasta properly?

And then there’s the coffee. Whether you prefer yours from an espresso machine or the iconic stovetop moka coffee pot – personally I find it hard to pick a favourite – everyone who’s spent even a short time in Italy knows there’s an art to preparing and drinking coffee all’italiana

This rich tradition comes with a set of rules and norms that can be hard to navigate if you weren’t born in the country, so here’s our complete guide to where, when and how to drink coffee like a true Italian.

Where, when and how to drink coffee like an Italian

A shot of dark, velvety coffee is more than just a quick caffeine hit: Italy’s espresso is a prized social and cultural ritual the country considers a part of its national heritage. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

The weather has taken a turn for the worse this week and many parts of northern Italy are experiencing freezing temperatures and snow. It sounds obvious now, but before I moved to Italy I didn’t realise just how bitterly cold it gets, and my first winter in Tuscany was a bit of a shock. Luckily, Italians from around the peninsula share a love of talking – or complaining – about cold and wet weather so there were plenty of people ready to commiserate.

Here are ten Italian phrases you can throw into your weather-related conversations during these chilly days:

Ten phrases to talk about cold and wet weather in Italian

And have you noticed how some Italian translations of English-language film titles bear very little resemblance to the original? I first realised this when an Italian friend told me how they always watched something called ‘Mamma ho perso l’aereo’ at Christmas, and described the plot, which sounded identical to that of Home Alone…

From the very literal to the improbable, here’s a non-exhaustive list of our favourite Italian movie title translations.

Puns and plot spoilers: How English movie titles are translated into Italian

Remember if you’d like to have this weekly newsletter sent straight to your inbox you can sign up for it via Newsletter preferences in “My Account”.

Is there an aspect of the Italian way of life you’d like to see us write more about on The Local? Please email me at [email protected]