Secret message leads to Da Vinci investigation

Cerca trova - "seek and you shall find" is the message hidden in a Florence mural by Giorgio Vasari, long thought to have replaced Leonardo da Vinci's greatest work, leading scientists to use high tech methods to investigate behind the painting. (photos and video)

An endoscopic probe was inserted into a tiny hole in Vasari's mural resulting in a tiny sample of the same type of dark pigment Da Vinci also used in the Mona Lisa. Now the experts hope that Da Vinci's great work might be hidden behind the existing mural and not destroyed in a fire as previously believed.

"These data are very encouraging," said National Geographic Fellow Maurizio Seracini. "Although we are still in the preliminary stages of the research and there is still a lot of work to be done to solve this mystery, the evidence does suggest that we are searching in the right place."