March 23, 2019
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Italy honors Leonardo Da Vinci 500 years after his death

Rome, Mar 13 (efe-epa).- A series of exhibitions celebrating the work and life of Leonardo Da Vinci officially opened in Italy on Wednesday to mark the 500th anniversary of his death.

The scientific and technological genius of the Florentine artist, inventor and polymath will be honored with 78 major events in numerous cities across the country.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described Da Vinci (1452- 1519) as “immortal” and a “multifaceted genius”.

He said that people today “must be inspired by his genius” and announced that the Italian government will be launching a programme of research, technological innovation and culture.

The celebrations, which will take place throughout this year and into the next, will include: "Leonardo Da Vinci: designing the future" at the Royal Museum of Turin, an exhibition in the Accademia Gallery of Venice, and “The Science Before Science", which will be held at Rome's Scuderie del Quirinale, part of the official State Palace where the Italian president resides.

Da Vinci pondered and designed huge construction machines, fantastic contraptions whereby man could conceivably fly and an "ideal city" - technological and scientific works he created during the late 15th and early 16th centuries and all of which are part of the exhibition on display in Rome.

Alberto Bonisoli, Minister of Cultural Assets and Activities, said the artist was "so Italian, and we feel so much that we have the opportunity to help other countries to celebrate it.”

Tourism Minister, Gian Marco Centinaio, said that although "we all know Leonardo as a genius of art, science, engineering and many other disciplines” he was also a “great traveler who loved discovering new places and people.”

Another part of the celebrations is a documentary film that juxtaposes Leonardo Da Vinci's sketches of inventions with modern day feats.

"Leonardo Cinquecento" follows a simple format and compares the codex in which the Renaissance genius recorded his projects with examples of contemporary inventions that echo elements of the Italian's designs.

The film, which has been produced by the Magnitudo Film (Italy) and the Chili (European) production houses, was first screened in Italy in February.

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