Italian Sisters Claim to 'Reveal' Mona Lisa's Last Living Descendants

© AP Photo / Amr NabilTourists take pictures for Leonard de Vinci's La Joconde painting, Mona Lisa, at the Louvre museum in Paris, France, Thursday, Nov.19, 2015
Tourists take pictures for Leonard de Vinci's La Joconde painting, Mona Lisa, at the Louvre museum in Paris, France, Thursday, Nov.19, 2015 - Sputnik International
Two women from one of the country’s oldest noble families have claimed to know the story behind one of the world’s most famous paintings. Art historians have been debating the identity of the woman whom Leonardo da Vinci painted with an enigmatic smile, for centuries.

Natalia and Irina Strozzi have claimed in their interview with the NBC News that they are related to the woman in Leonardo da Vinci’s famous portrait, known throughout the world as Mona Lisa or Giocondo, which is now exhibited in The Louvre in Paris.

According to the Italians, this vaguely smiling woman was the wife of tradesman Francesco del Giocondo, Lisa Gherardini, who also turned out to be their ancestor.

“It's our great-grandmother, we have the same blood running in our veins,” they told the US broadcaster, saying they have “visited” their famous grand-grandmother in the French museum many times.

According to the sisters, who earlier perused acting and dancing careers, and eventually got focused on their family’s wine business, their grandmother used to tell them about it, but they never took it that seriously.

READ MORE: 'Not a Pale Copy': Topless Mona Lisa Sketch May Be Leonardo’s Work (PHOTO)

However, later their friend, who is a historian, dug into the archives of the Strozzi family, which happens to be one of the oldest and most powerful ones in Italy.

According to the Strozzi sisters, Leonardo’s father had been a notary for Francesco, who ordered the portrait of his wife in the beginning of the 16th century.

Social media users, however, have voiced their skepticism over the theory.

​Their theory is backed by art history professor from Florence University Rab Hatfield, who expressed his certainty about the relation between the Strozzi sisters and the woman in the portrait, pointing to evidence found at Germany’s Heidelberg University two decades ago. A book with a reference to da Vinci’s painting Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo was discovered there.

For ages, art historians and amateur painting lovers have been debating, who is pictured in the world’s most famous portrait. Some have even concluded that it was Leonardo’s self-portrait, or an image of an ideal woman.

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