According to documents discovered in 2002 in Da Vinci’s home town of Vinci in Tuscany, she had been brought to Italy as a Middle Eastern slave. Many Da Vinci experts, however, remained unconvinced.
But now the plot has thickened once again.
A relatively unknown Canadian scholar, Louis Buff Parry, who describes himself as an "artist, scientist, inventor, international scholar, and diplomat," has put forward a new theory suggesting that Da Vinci’s mother was Muslim and hailed from ... Azerbaijan.
According to Perry, Caterina was the most common name given to slaves from the region of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) and Da Vinci himself travelled to Turkey and Azerbaijan to discover his Caucasian roots. His findings were reported by a number of news agencies, mostly Azerbaijani and Turkish.
Perry presented his theory at Library and Archives Canada during a lecture last month entitled “The Eastern Mysteries of Leonardo Da Vinci and His Mother, Caterina.” The event was jointly organized by the embassies of Azerbaijan and Turkey.
-- Anna Zamejc