In 1505, legendary artist Leonardo da Vinci started painting a fresco mural in the town hall of Renaissance Florence. Despite never finishing the artwork depicting The Battle of Anghiari, many scholars consider his painting to be a turning point in Renaissance art. It was studied by many people for more than 40 years before it disappeared. Some people think it was covered up by another fresco created by another artist. Now a team of scientists, teamed up with a photographer, are going to try to take a photograph through the wall to see if Leonardo’s masterpiece is still there. And they need your help, to the tune of $266,500. They have turned to Kickstarter to raise enough funds to purchase the equipment needed.
In 1563, however, the hall underwent sweeping renovations, during which its walls were frescoed by the artist Giorgio Vasari, covering Leonardo’s masterpiece. The painting vanished from history, and no known records explain its fate. Many prominent art historians believe that Vasari would not have destroyed a masterpiece by the legendary Leonardo, whom he admired greatly, and that he may have found some way of preserving it behind his own fresco (in fact, on at least two occasions when Vasari covered masterworks by Giotto and Masaccio elsewhere in Florence with his own work, he left the underlying art intact). What’s more, within his own battle scene in the Hall of 500, and over the approximate area where Leonardo’s masterpiece is believed to lie, Vasari painted the only words in all of his vast frescoes covering the walls; “Cerca Trova”—“Seek and you will find.”