'Lost' Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece may be hidden in 'secret compartment' in Florence palazzo - as hi-tech drill reveals traces of paints used in Mona Lisa
By ROB WAUGH
A hidden message in a painting has led to the first evidence of a 'lost' Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece that has lain hidden for 400 years in a secret compartment behind another mural in Florence, scientists announced today.
An 'endoscopic' probe was inserted into the interior of the wall in the Palazzo Vechio, and obtained chemical samples of a dark pigment which Da Vinci also used in the Mona Lisa.
The painting is thought to be one of Da Vinci's most significant works - but was long assumed to have been destroyed by fire in the 16th century. Now researchers believe that it may have been preserved by a hidden wall built by another painter.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2113830/Leonardo-da-Vinci-masterpiece-hidden-Palazzo-Vechio-secret-compartment-Florence.html#ixzz1y6MK3Xlq
From Associated Press, June 20, 2005:http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/it%5Echi.html
"Cerca, trova - seek and you shall find - says a tantalizing five-century-old message painted on a fresco in the council hall of Florence's Palazzo Vecchio.
Researchers now believe these cryptic words could be a clue to the location of a long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting and are pressing local authorities to allow them to search for the masterpiece of Renaissance art.
Maurizio Seracini, an Italian art researcher, first noticed the message during a survey of the hall 30 years ago, but his team lacked the technology then to see what lay behind Giorgio Vasari's 16th-century fresco, "Battle of Marciano in the Chiana Valley."
However, radar and X-ray scans conducted between 2002 and 2003 have detected a cavity behind the section of wall the message was painted on, which Seracini believes may conceal Leonardo's unfinished mural painting, the "Battle of Anghiari." Considered one of Leonardo's greatest works, the mural is known today through the Tuscan master's preparatory studies and copies made by other artists. "At the time, this was considered the masterpiece of masterpieces," Seracini told the Associated Press. Recovering it "would be like discovering a new Mona Lisa or a new Last Supper."
Leonardo's mural was thought to have been destroyed in the mid-16th century when artist, writer and architect Vasari renovated the hall that once served as Florence's seat of power. He then covered the walls with his own paintings. Leonardo began working on the "Battle of Anghiari" in June 1505, when he was 53. He worked alongside fellow artist and rival Michelangelo, who had been commissioned to decorate the opposite wall with scenes of the Florentine republic's military triumphs. Michelangelo never went beyond the preparatory work for his "Battle of Cascina," but Leonardo did paint his battle's centerpiece - a violent clash of horses and men called the "Fight for the Flag." Leonardo later abandoned the work and left for Milan. Some chroniclers of the time said the artist had experimented with unstable paints that had rapidly degraded, leaving the painting irreparably damaged.
"For generations these stories have held us back, but there are documents that say otherwise," Seracini said. "Maybe other parts were damaged, but we know that 60 years later, when Vasari began his works, the painting was still visible and people still came to marvel at it."
Vasari raised the hall's roof 23 feet by building a second set of walls, but scans show that at one point he left a space between the two walls that is just large enough to house Leonardo's 19-by-13-foot "Fight for the Flag," Seracini said. A similar technique was used by Vasari to preserve other works of art, he said.
"We see from Vasari's writings that Leonardo was just too important to him," Seracini said, adding that Vasari himself may have painted the message on a tiny green flag in his 39-by-26-foot fresco as a clue to the location of the "Battle of Anghiari." "It is the only writing on dozens of flags in that painting," Seracini said. "And what are we looking for if not for something which was already known then as the 'Fight for the Flag'? Can all this be a coincidence?"
Seracini, whose research on another Leonardo painting is quoted in Dan Brown's novel "The Da Vinci Code," is an engineer who has spent the last three decades conducting scientific investigations on art treasures. He said he would like to continue his search for the "Battle of Anghiari" but authorities in Florence have denied him a permit. "For months now we have been at a standstill and since all this is paid for by a private company, at no cost to the municipality, it's difficult for me to understand the reason for this behavior," he said. Chiara Silla, director of the Palazzo Vecchio museum, said the inquiry hasn't been given the go-ahead because Seracini has yet to present a detailed report on his survey. "Seracini's is a work in progress that is difficult to evaluate," Silla said. "For the last two years we have been waiting for technical and scientific documentation to decide together whether to continue or not."
If authorized to resume, Seracini said he would conduct another series of scans and insert a small probe through Vasari's painting to detect any traces of the pigments used by Leonardo. That would require at least another year of work, he said. If the "Battle of Anghiari" is located, it should be possible for conservation artists to remove a section of Vasari's fresco, extract Leonardo's painting and then safely replace the Vasari, Seracini said. He said it would be a fairly routine operation for experts. Alessandro Vezzosi, a Leonardo expert and the director of a museum dedicated to the artist in his hometown of Vinci, said he is aware of Seracini's work and that is based on solid evidence. "We need to get to the bottom of this. The idea of a Leonardo hidden there is incredibly fascinating," he said." Of course this is sinister-hoisted (i.e. with the hoist at the viewer's right hand), as shown in the painting.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 June 2005
The Magic of Seeds and the Science of Insuring Earth’s Futureby Maria Popova
What tiny parachutes and a man named Wolfgang have to do with the future of all living species.
All life — including human life — depends on plants. All the genetic information the biodiversity of our planet, as well as the sustenance of our species and others’, is held in the seeds that survive from generation to generation. Since 2000, the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership at the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens has been working with hundreds of partners in 54 countries to provide an “insurance policy” against the extinction of plants in the wild by storing seeds for future use. In 2007, it banked its billionth seed. By 2010, they had collected seeds from 24,000 different species of plants, representing 10% of the world’s plant diversity. By 2020, the project will have collected 25%. The underground seed vault, if filled wall-to-wall, could hold 100,000,000,000 rice grains or 30 tightly packed double-decker buses.
This superb short film, featuring breathtaking photomicroscopy of seeds, takes us behind the scenes of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, where the scientists of Kew Gardens are hard at work preserving wild plants and habitats for our future.
Listen to Dr. Joseph Michael Levry's enlightening interview with Reverend Michael Beckwith...he speaks about the science behind prayer and how vibrating Naam changes the brain waves in such a way to create a platform for healing and happiness...yes this is deep stuff but life is NOT a dress rehearsal so dig in!
"Your tongue is a pen. Everyday is a page in the book of your life. Use your tongue to write beautiful stories of Love, Peace and Light so that when the time comes, the angels will read it with a lot of joy." Listen to "The Power of the Word," a special message from Dr. Levry on the Toño Esquinca show.
Visit us at http://www.rootlight.com and http://www.naammexico.com!
I will provide a legislative update during the 7th annual Delaware County Environmental Summit, which will be this Saturday, Feb. 18, at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge, 8601 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia.
My discussion, which starts at 9:15 a.m. in the Cusano Environmental Education Center, will cover H.B. 1950, the recently enacted Marcellus Shale legislation; H.B. 2113, my legislation to mitigate air pollution from drilling; and the impact Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget would have on environmental programs.
The event also provides an opportunity for municipal officials and homeowners to learn about stormwater management techniques.
Other scheduled speakers include Brian Vadino from the Delaware County Conservation District, who will discuss rain barrels; Karen Holmes from the Delaware County Planning Department, who will discuss Act 167 stormwater requirements; and Valessa Souter-Kline from the Philadelphia Water Department.
The summit, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., is free and food will be provided. It is being organized by Delco Concerned Citizens for Environmental Change, a group of local environmentalists that includes residents and business owners. The group's mission is to promote awareness of environmental issues such as global warming, water conservation and management, energy efficiency, alternative energy solutions, sustainable building design, recycling, composting, and community-supported agriculture.
People who plan to attend can register online at http://delcoenvironmental.tripod.com or by calling Jaclyn Rhoads at 267-221-5274.
Help a local family. A tragic fire over the holiday season occurred at the Sullivan family home destroying property, belongings, and pets.
As many of our HSC family already may know, a tragic fire over the holiday season occurred at the Sullivan family home destroying property, belongings, and pets. No human lives were lost and, as far as we are told, no injuries reported.
It is times like this that shows how fragile our own lives can be and that in an instant all can vanish. It is also times like this that show us that we are not alone and someone is always there for us by giving a hug and lending a hand.
HSC is asking that our membership please consider donating what you can for the Sullivans so that they can move towards a restoration of life that we all hold dear.
Tim Carfrey, U-10 travel soccer dad, is heading up the effort. Please send whatever you can to:
820 Beechwood Road
Havertown PA, 19083
You may also contact Tim Carfrey to offer any further assistance.? Below is a link for direct donations.
The Sierra Club of Southeastern PA will hold an educational program called "Trashing EPA" 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25 on the 4th floor of the Free Library of Philadelphia, 19th and Vine streets.
Temple University Law Professor Amy Sinden will talk about Congressional and corporate attempts to weaken the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
If you have any questions about this event, please contact Bill Brainerd of the Sierra Club at email@example.com.
166th Legislative District