December 4, 2006, - 3:59 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
The pan-Arabist world–particularly the Islamist segment of it–is abuzz with the news that Leonardo Da Vinci’s mother may have been an Arab.
To which I say, a big: SO, WHAT?!
Apparently, fingerprints of his–taken from papers he handled–show a possibility that his mother was of Arab descent, according to AP.
Since I don’t know much about fingerprints (and haven’t researched this further), I’m not sure why fingerprints show his mother’s origin and not his father’s (but maybe some readers in the know can enlighten us).
Regardless, I find the story hilarious. First of all, we don’t even know for sure his mother was an Arab. It’s just a possibility. Second, we don’t know that she was a Muslim. And even if she were, he sure was not. Otherwise, how do you explain his famous painting of Jesus’ “The Last Supper” (not something any believing Muslim would depict)? Attention, Dar Al-Islam: Da Vinci renounced you.
It’s like every other story we hear about how great Arabs and Muslims once were and all the things they supposedly gave to society. “Look at us. Da Vinci was ours, one of us.” (Maybe that’s the reason Mona Lisa isn’t exactly “smiling.”) But, even if it’s true, so what if Da Vinci was possibly half Arab? That was then. This is now.
And the only thing that particular society is giving us now is death and destruction. Beheadings, honor-killings, and murdered nuns. Intolerance and bigotry. And the forcing of their religion and cultural norms on the rest of us. (And even back then, they gave us their fair share of “contributions” like the word and concept of “assassins” or “hashishin” (from the hashish the Arab Muslim Shia martyrs used to take before they murdered others).
What Arab and Muslim culture does now is what’s important–their so-called ancient contributions to culture be damned.
More on this irrelevant “Arab Like Us” story:
ROME — Anthropologists said they have pieced together Leonardo da Vinci’s left index fingerprint — a discovery that could help provide information on such matters as the food the artist ate and whether his mother was of Arab origin.
The reconstruction of the fingerprint was the result of three years of research and could help attribute disputed paintings or manuscripts, said Luigi Capasso, an anthropologist and director of the Anthropology Research Institute at Chieti University in Italy.
The research was based on a first core of photographs of about 200 fingerprints — most of them partial– taken from about 52 papers handled by da Vinci in his life.
The artist often ate while working, and Capasso and other experts said his fingerprints could include traces of saliva, blood or food. It is information that could help clear up questions about his origins.
Certain distinctive features are more common in the fingerprints of some ethnic populations, experts say.
“The one we found in this fingertip applies to 60% of the Arabic population, which suggests the possibility that his mother was of Middle Eastern origin,” Capasso said.
Maybe she was one of those who ascended from the forcibly converted (to Islam) to Christianity. Sorry, Islam. But Da Vinci ain’t yours.
Tags: anthropologist and director, Anthropology Research Institute, Anthropology Research Institute at Chieti University in Italy, artist, Chieti University in Italy, Debbie Schlussel, food, Italy, Leonardo Da Vinci, Luigi Capasso, Mona Lisa, Rome