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Leonardo da Vinci's 'relatives' named

BBC News BBC News 15/04/2016
Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli poses at the British Embassy in Rome before receiving the medal of knighthood from the British ambassador to Italy, 24 November 2004.: Director Franco Zeffirelli's father's family, the Corsis, are connected to Leonardo da Vinci, the researchers say © AFP Director Franco Zeffirelli's father's family, the Corsis, are connected to Leonardo da Vinci, the researchers say

Italian researchers say they have identified 35 living people who are related to Leonardo da Vinci, using genealogical records.

They include the acclaimed film director Franco Zeffirelli.

The Renaissance polymath was born in the Tuscan town of Vinci in 1452.

He never married and left no direct descendants, so historians Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato sought to find those who are descended from his siblings.

Leonardo's remains were lost in the turmoil of the 16th Century, so DNA research was not used in their work to construct a family tree, which began in 1973.

Most of those identified are still living in Tuscany, reports say.

But, as La Stampa reports (in Italian), a connection to Leonardo da Vinci may not come as a surprise to Franco Zeffirelli. The director made reference to a family connection when he was presented with a Leonardo Prize by the Italian president in 2007, the newspaper says.

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