The last time we wrote about the search for the ‘Lost Leonardo’ in Florence, there were already clear signs that things were not going well.
Today brings news that the project is to be stopped, with a closing act much in keeping with the in-fighting and feuding that have dogged the project from the start.
The Mayor of Florence – Matteo Renzi – has asked National Geographic, sponsors of the research, to take down their scaffolding and put an end to the probing of the surface behind which the lost masterpiece is believed to lie. He has, at the same time, written to the Culture Ministry accusing them of a Pontius Pilate style washing of their hands, being guilty of allowing the works to go ahead on one track (the micro-bores) and of blocking them on another (a reqeust to remove a section of plaster).
This last was held to be the key to the mystery, a mystery set to endure in the face of much polemic. Renzi says the project will need to await a change of government, whilst the local authorities claim to have received no scientific proof of tangible discoveries or advances at any stage of the project.
Doubtless it’ll all show up in a Dan Brown style pot-boiler one day.