Da Vinci's sexual orientation has long been a subject of investigation. Though many efforts have been made to prove or disprove he was homosexual, no definite conclusion can be reached. Such suspicions stem from da Vinci's determination to keep his private life secret. There is no evidence that he was ever intimately involved with any woman. Most important, his works of art point to his preference for androgynous beauty. His homosexuality is therefore assumed.
Is Mona Lisa his self-portrait?
In 1515 da Vinci finished his self-portrait. In it he depicted himself as a wrinkled old man with a long beard. It has however been suggested that the mysterious woman in Mona Lisa was himself. As the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) reported in January 2010, Italy's Committee for Cultural Heritage, a leading association of scientists and art historians, believed that da Vinci was buried at a French castle upon his death in 1519. They wanted to dig up his skull and rebuild his face using modern technology to see if it resembles Mona Lisa's. However, others believe Mona Lisa was only an ordinary merchant's wife.
Newly-discovered da Vinci work
In December 2009, The Washington Post was tipped by an anonymous source that a new da Vinci painting has appeared in Boston. If true, it would be the second da Vinci masterpiece in the US. However, this piece of information has not yet been confirmed.
The Da Vinci Code 《達文西密碼》
Published in 2003, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has been criticised for its historical inaccuracies, especially by the Vatican (梵蒂岡教廷). In 2004, Laura Miller, a writer, published in The New York Times an article titled "The Last Word: The da Vinci Con", in which she slammed its untruthfulness. She attacked Brown's story, saying it was based on a "notorious hoax (騙局)". She also said The Da Vinci Code was similar to Holy Blood, Holy Grail (a controversial book published in the 1980s) in that they were both pseudo-history. Nevertheless, the author has insisted that, except for the characters, all the historical artworks, rituals and secret societies in the book were real.