Originally posted on TED Blog:

How, exactly, does a Leonardo da Vinci mural believed to be three times the width of The Last Supper get lost? This is a mystery that Maurizio Seracini has been trying to solve since 1975.

After graduating with a degree in engineering from the University of California San Diego, Seracini was approached about a project in his hometown of Florence. The mission: to search for da Vinci’s unfinished fresco, The Battle of Anghiari. While several artists of da Vinci’s time refer to the work — and a letter from 1549 places it atop a grand staircase in the Palazzo Vecchio — the piece has been lost to modern audiences. It is believed that when Giorgio Vasari renovated the Palazzo Vecchio’s Hall of 500 in 1560, he might have covered da Vinci’s fresco with his own, The Battle of Marciano. While Vasari is known to have preserved the works…

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