After nearly 500 years, scientists using cutting-edge radar equipment have discovered the grave of Mona Lisa. But modern reconstruction techniques, using her skull as a template, have led to a second discovery - the painting looks nothing like her.
"This discovery is deeply embarrassing," said a spokesman for the Louvre museum in Paris, where the painting is displayed. "For years, Da Vinci has been held up as a paragon of his craft. Now, we will have to reassess the talentless hack."
Scientists have long speculated that the enigmatic smile was due to the model's lack of teeth, but the discovery of the grave proves that she was heavily tusked. In addition, the reconstruction shows that Mona Lisa had a massive nose, heavy brow and a jutting chin. Leonardo was miles off.
This isn't the first time a Da Vinci artwork has come in for criticism. His design for a helicopter has been called 'naive' by experts at Sikorsky, and his parachute sketch was slated for being almost impossible to pack. His early experiments with pin hole cameras came in for similar criticism from Nikon, where the lack of support for tripods or flash was noted.
In a separate investigation, the body of Dora Maar, Picasso's muse, was exhumed. Archaeologists were amazed to discover that she had both eyes on one side of a perfectly square head.