The question of the identity of Mona Lisa remains elusive till today. But researchers at the University of California, Riverside aren't giving up. They received an initial grant of $25,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities which they will use to create a cutting edge facial recognition technology and use it on centuries old portraits and other fine art.

Known as FACES (Faces, Art and Computerized Evaluation Systems), it will make use of the same facial recognition software used to combat terrorism. This is to "solve old and vexing art historical problems", according to Conrad Rudolph, a professor of art history and the director of the project.

The variations in facial expression, age and facial hair as well as factors like angle of pose are common problems in the current use of the technology.

The project is still at its early stages, and if this 3D-to-3D test proves successful, eventually they will move on to test 2D-to-3D. And if proven a success, we might just be able to learn the identity of Mona Lisa.Finally.

[DailyMail, UCR, Image via Public Domain]