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27. September 2006, 19:37:08
Subject: have you read this
AZUZ: Time for the Shoutout! Who painted this picture? If you think you know it, shout it out! Was it: A) Leonardo da Vinci, B) Vincent van Gogh, C) Michelangelo Buonarroti, or D) Pablo Picasso? You've got three seconds--GO! The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci sometime between 1503 and 1506. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

A New Look

LLOYD: It's a smile that's mystified people for centuries. And ever since da Vinci created his "Mona Lisa" masterpiece, art lovers have looked for the secret behind the smirk. A team of Canadian scientists used sophisticated 3D technology to unearth clues behind the riddle. Danny Globerman reveals what they found when they peered through the layers.


DANNY GLOBERMAN, REPORTER: The Da Vinci Code phenomenon teased us with the notion that all sorts of great secrets lie hidden in the artist's work. Well, now we've learned, they do. And they're hidden no longer.

But the secrets announced at the National Research Council have more to do with art than religious conspiracies. In October 2004, an NRC team jouneyed to the Louvre for the most extensive physical the Mona Lisa has ever received. There were x-rays, infared and ultraviolet photos, and thanks to the Research Council's world leading technology, a state of the art, 3-dimensional laser scan.

FRANCOIS BLAIS, NATL. RESEARCH COUNCIL OF CANADA: Now, we have very precise information about the thickness of the layers. We know how the painting was painted, with very very thin layers of painting. That's one of the things we couldn't see by the naked eye and that technology brought us.

GLOBERMAN: All sorts of elements not visible to the eye are now known. A bonnet, a full veil, a waistband. They're all there, you just can't see them.

JOHN TAYLOR, NRC SCIENTIST: It just doesn't get any better than this, because great art and great science.

GLOBERMAN: John Taylor is one of the NRC scientists who took part in the project. He says while the Mona Lisa has now given up many of her secrets, he's still amazed and baffled by one of them.

TAYLOR: In this painting, there are no signs of brush strokes anywhere on the painting. That includes the very fine details of embroidery on the dress, the hair. This is the "Je ne sais quoi" of Leonardo, the genius. We don't know how he applied it.

GLOBERMAN: Beyond the mysteries, this project gives and accurate and highly detailed snapshot of the painting's current physical condition. That will allow conservators to know if anything changes in the painting over the years. And while the wood panel on which she rests is warped, the experts say Mona's ailments are all under control and should be for some time to come. And for art lovers, that's truly something to smile about.



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