Art curators in Italy have unveiled what they believe is the last surviving sculpture of Leonardo da Vinci.
"The Virgin with the Laughing Child" sculpture, which was long credited to Italian artist Antoni Rossellino, actually may have been created by da Vinci in 1472, The Guardian reported citing experts.
The sculpture went on display this week as part of "Verrocchio: Master of Leonardo" exhibition, which runs at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence until July.
The 20-inch tall sculpture, made of red clay, portrayed the Virgin Mary looking down upon baby Jesus.
Curators and scholars have said key characteristics of the artwork were similar to drawings that da Vinci made. They argued that the "voluminous, complicated draperies that flow over the Madonna’s legs" and the "realistic, well-observed pose" Jesus is making demonstrated similarities to his other works.
Italian academic Francesco Caglioti, who teaches at Naples University, reportedly was leading the charge for crediting the sculpture to da Vinci. Caglioti said art historian John Pope-Hennessy, who credited the sculpture to Rossellino, often attributed work to arts "at his whim" without supporting evidence. Pope-Hennessy died in 1994.
Separately, a new analysis of "Mona Vanna," a charcoal drawing that had puzzled experts for centuries, suggested that it likely was created by da Vinci as well.