New section of mural by Leonardo discovered in Milan

(ANSA) - Milan, October 23 - New sections of artwork by Leonardo da Vinci have been found in a room of the Sforzesco Castle, where he was the court artist for the duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro, in the late 1400s.

Restoration work on the Sala delle Asse (room of the planks), which da Vinci decorated from April to September of 1498 with a mural of trees soaring into a vaulted canopy, has revealed additional sections of the original work under several layers of whitewash - sometimes up to 17 - according to representatives of the Florentine restoration institute Opificio delle Pietre Dure.

Restoration workers say they are uncovering a monochrome section of the mural depicting a huge tree root, stuck in rock at the base of the many trees that adorn the room - a giant, surprising 'trompe l'oeil'.

Analyses done on the face of the mural to reconstruct the original composition give "quite interesting results", they say, and give hope of restoring large parts of the original decoration.

So far the work of scraping away newer layers has been performed with mechanical means, like scalpels and hammers, but further work will likely require other methods, like ultrasound scaling, laser instruments and chemical products.

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