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July 20, 2005

Mock Trial for 'Da Vinci Code'

Topics: Faith

ROME (AP) -- Art experts and conservative clerics are holding an unusual "trial'' in Leonardo da Vinci's hometown aimed at sorting out fact from fiction in the "The Da Vinci Code'' after many readers took the smash hit novel as gospel truth.

The event in Vinci, just outside of Florence, began Friday with an opening statement by Alessandro Vezzosi, director of a Leonardo museum. He said he will produce photographs and documents as evidence of the mistakes and historical inaccuracies contained in Dan Brown's best seller.

"Leonardo is misrepresented and belittled,'' Vezzosi said in a telephone interview hours before the event began. "His importance is misunderstood. He was a man full of fantasy, inventions and genius.''

The novel's contentious allegations -- namely, that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and sired a bloodline -- have provoked unprecedented protest among Roman Catholic and Protestant conservatives, who claimed that Brown's characters inaccurately malign Christianity.

The book portrays Roman Catholic leaders as demonizing women for centuries and covering up the truth about the Holy Grail, which the novel says is Mary Magdalene herself.

Vezzosi said he will produce evidence through 120 photographs based on documents and paintings with the aim of "reassessing and disclaiming the author'' of the mystical thriller, a mix of code-breaking, art history, secret societies, religion and lore. More ...

Posted by Hyscience at July 20, 2005 5:15 PM

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