From The Guardian:
Italian researchers are planning to dig up bones in a Florence convent to try to identify the remains of a Renaissance woman believed to be the model for the Mona Lisa. If successful, the research might help ascertain the identity of the woman depicted in Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece – a mystery that has puzzled scholars and art lovers for centuries and generated countless theories.
The project aims to locate the remains of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a rich silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo. Tradition has long linked Gherardini to the painting, which is known in Italian as La Gioconda and in French as La Joconde. Giorgio Vasari, a 16th-century artist and biographer, wrote that Leonardo painted a portrait of del Giocondo's wife.