Da Vinci Code Tech Talk at UCSD Tomorrow

For anyone reading this in the San Diego area, there will be a fascinating talk tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10am in the Calit2 building at UC San Diego. The speaker is Maurizio Seracini, president of Editech in Florence, Italy, and a self-described “art diagnostician” who was given an opportunity to scan and analyze Da Vinci’s “The Adoration of the Magi” using non-destructive testing capabilities, including a wide variety of infrared, ultra-violet, and other imaging technologies. Seracini is the only living art authority who actually appears in Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” book turned soon-to-be movie.

Here is the overview:

The premise of the book by Dan Brown is that there is hidden meaning in one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s greatest works, “The Last Supper.” The book mentions the “unsettling truth” of discoveries by art diagnostician Seracini, who has agreed to do a talk on Wednesday morning at 10am in the Calit2 Auditorium at UCSD.

Seracini’s talk will cover the hoopla surrounding the book and movie, and his own role in the saga, but the focus of this seminar is on the results of his research using a variety of non-invasive imaging technologies to scan and analyze the “The Adoration of the Magi” and many other works of art (over 2,000 to date) as well as artifacts and structures, including stunning images to be shown on Calit2’s super-high-definition projection system.

In his talk, Seracini will give UCSD and Calit2 attendees a stunning look at the original drawings by Da Vinci that were hidden away for 500 years under paint that was almost certainly added many years after Da Vinci completed the painting.

[Update] Having now attended the talk, I’ll just say I enjoyed Seracini’s passionate combination of art and science immensely. Seeing on a thirty-foot HD-plus display the years be peeled away so that Da Vinci’s original design for Adoration of the Magi was revealed was a revelatory moment, something both awe-inspiring and moving. Absolutely remarkable.


  1. I think it is now generally accepted -heaven knows why it was ever given credence- that the da Vinci code is simply a, albeit clever, piece of nonsensical mythology: it has brought Dan Brown a handsome return, and good luck to him. This book should not, however, be confused with Prof Seracini’s very seriously undertaken art technological investigations into Leonardo’s paintings. Perhaps he would be wise to sever any connection in the public’s mind between the now somewhat tarnished `da Vinci code.’ and his work.