The answer about the painting, called "La Gioconda," may never be known. The work, which bears a striking resemblance to Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," went on display last month the day before "The Da Vinci Code" began playing in the movies. Since then, the painting has created a buzz among the curious and has attracted record crowds.
Carrie Haslett, the museum's curator of modern art, says the timing of the display was not coincidental. She said the movie, and the best-selling book it was based on, have created an interest in da Vinci's works and the history of the Renaissance period in which he lived.
"La Gioconda" was donated to the museum in 1983 by the late Henry Reichhold, a Maine summer resident with a home on Prout's Neck in Scarborough.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)