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Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Sunday, 1 March 2009

Early da Vinci portrait uncovered

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A sketch obscured by handwriting for five centuries in one of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks may be a youthful self-portrait.

Hidden under layers of thick writing on a page of the Codex on the Flight of Birds, the sketch was spotted by the Italian scientific journalist Piero Angela.

Mr Angela enlisted the help of art historians, Carabinieri police forensic experts and a TV graphics department to uncover the picture.

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