Leonardo Quest to Resume

The search for a lost Leonardo da Vinci fresco, regarded by his contemporaries as his masterpiece, is to resume, The Associated Press reported. The Italian culture minister, Francesco Rutelli, and officials in Florence announced last week that they had approved renewed exploration in the Palazzo Vecchio, where some researchers believe a cavity in a wall may have preserved the masterwork, Leonardo’s unfinished mural of the “Battle of Anghiari,” for more than four centuries. “We took this decision to verify conclusively if the cavity exists and if there are traces of the fresco,” Mr. Rutelli said. The fresco was thought to have been destroyed in the mid-16th-century when the artist Giorgio Vasari renovated the Hall of the 500 in the Palazzo, the seat of power for Florentine rulers. Vasari is known to have salvaged other art by leaving it behind walls when he made renovations. The art researcher Maurizio Seracini, who touched off the quest some 30 years ago, will be part of the exploration team. Once a date is set, he said, investigators will need at least 18 months to arrive at a definitive answer. “We are not talking about a search like any other,” Mr. Seracini said. “We are searching for Leonardo’s greatest masterpiece, considered as such by his contemporaries.”