Was Leonardo da Vinci an Arab?

Based on a single fingerprint preserved in one of his paintings, scientists have speculated on the ethnicity of Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci and believe he may have had Arabic heritage.

The print of the painter's left index finger show characteristics common to the Middle East. "Around 60 per cent of the Middle Eastern population have the same structure," said Professor Luigi Capasso.

The research is backed up by the theory that da Vinci's mother may have been a slave who came to Italy from Istanbul.