Florence, Italy - "Whoever this woman was she was a dog alright," pit digger Guido Mortadella at the Martyr's Crypt at the Church of Santissima Annunziata told reporters today as news of the forensic breakthrough went viral.
Weeks of painstaking excavations in the lavish burial sepulchre of the Del Giocondo family finally yielded a tomb thought to contain the remains of Florentine beauty Lisa Gheradini, wife of wealthy local silk merchant Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo and Leonardo Da Vinci's model for his famous Mona Lisa painting.
Unfortunately a NCIS-style forensic autopsy this week has identified the casket contents as decidedly canine as opposed to human, with carbon dating analysis pointing to a skeleton of an Italian pooch called a Dolomites Mastiff born circa 1500, give or take the odd decade.
The finding is a blow to self-styled Indiana Jones bounty hunter cum art history sleuth Silvano Vinceti who is leading the exhumation project with a stated view to cloning the fabled Florentine beauty using retro-engineered DNA harvesting processes first utilized in the United States to create Lady Gaga.
"Ha ha, can you believed it?" Signor Mortadella chuckled.
"Maybe he wanna marry this cloned pooch?"