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Scientists try save 400-year-old only existing self-portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci


The portrait

The portrait

The portrait

Scientists are close to deciding how to restore a fading chalk sketch believed to be the only existing self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, following a hi-tech study of the paper.

The portrait, thought to be more than 400 years old, remains locked in a vault in the Royal Library of Turin, Italy, where it is believed to be gradually vanishing as the red-chalk image blends against the ageing yellow paper.

Now scientists from Italy and Poland are using sophisticated restoration techniques to measure how much light is reflected and absorbed by the image.

Joanna Lojewska, of Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, said: “This phenomenon is known as ‘yellowing’, which causes severe damage and negatively affects the aesthetic enjoyment of ancient artworks on paper.”

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