Despite being one of the most famous figures of the Renaissance, the exact whereabouts of Leonardo da Vinci’s remains unknown. A grave thought to contain his bones was reportedly found in 1863 and moved to a church in the town of Amboise, France, but the veracity of the claims that these bones belong to da Vinci have gone unproven. A team of Italian historians has announced the discovery of two unnamed ‘relics’ which belonged in some way to Leonardo da Vinci and might pinpoint the only proven traces of the artist, inventor, scientist, anatomist, and all-around genius.
The announcement was made by historian Agnese Sabato and Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the Museo Ideale in Vinci, a museum in Leonardo da Vinci’s hometown dedicated to the Renaissance man of Renaissance men and supergenius.
The researchers will announce their study of these unknown relics at a conference this week. Vezzosi told Seeker that at least one of these relics is “organic material” and might contain da Vinci’s DNA:
I can’t yet disclose the nature of these relics. I can only say that both are historically associated with Leonardo da Vinci. One is an object, the other is organic material. Overall, we have more than promising material to continue our research and isolate da Vinci’s DNA, 15 generations later.
So…is it like one of da Vinci’s toes or something? A lock of hair? Fingernail clipping? Whatever it is, if this relic truly contains da Vinci DNA, it potentially means that the revolutionary thinker could end up being cloned sometime in the near future. That is, if we can reason our way past all those pesky ethical barriers.
Reviving a mind like da Vinci’s might be just what humanity currently needs to think our way out of some of our current crises. Of course, the pleasures and conveniences of our time might be too much for da Vinci. Who wants to spend time writing in mirrored script encoding laws of physics into your doodles when you have Netflix and Chinese take out?