On loan from Italy, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Codex on the Flight of Birds,” will be exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., for 40 days this fall. The exhibit is scheduled to last from September 13th through October 22nd as a limited engagement. The rare work was created ca. 1505, shows da Vinci’s interest in human flight by exploring bird flight and behavior. It includes sketches and descriptions of devices and aerodynamic principles related to mechanical flight that predate the invention of the airplane by 400 years.
The Codex, an early form of a personal notebook, will be on view in a specially designed and secured case located in “The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age,” an exhibition whose centerpiece is Orville and Wilbur Wright’s 1903 Flyer, the world’s first successful powered aircraft. Nearby interactive stations will allow visitors to virtually leaf through the 18 folios (two-sided pages) of the Codex. The document will be loaned to the museum by the Biblioteca Reale in Turin, Italy.
This exhibit is organized by the museum and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Italian Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C., the Biblioteca Reale in Turin, and thanks to the support of the Bracco Foundation and corporations Finmeccanica and Tenaris. It is part of “2013—Year of Italian Culture in the U.S.,” an initiative held under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic, organized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Italy with the support of Corporate Ambassadors, Eni and Intesa Sanpaolo.
Admission to the exhibition is free and viewing is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s research, collections, exhibitions and programs focus on aeronautical history, space history and planetary studies. Open daily, 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. every day (closed Dec. 25).
2013: Year of Italian Culture in the United States has more than 200 cultural events in more than 50 U.S. cities and is supported by greater than 80 U.S. institutions and organizations. To find out more, visit www.italyinus2013.org/.
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