As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Rare Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece will be on view at National Air and Space Museum

WASHINGTON, DC.- One of Italy’s greatest treasures, 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, from Sept. 13 until Oct. 22. The extraordinary document, 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, which owns a number of works by da Vinci. The 16th-century genius is known primarily as an artist and sculptor, but he is also renowned for his skills in architecture, music, mathematics, poetry, engineering, anatomy and botany. “Most people have never seen an original work by Leonardo da Vinci, because so few are on display,” said Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, director of the museum. “Because the Codex has travelled to the United States only once before, and rarely left Italy, we feel especially fortunate to be able to share it with museum visitors.” “Bringing Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex to Washington in 2013, as we celebrate the Year of Italian Culture and 50 years of collaboration in space between Italy and America, means hosting a dialogue between the Renaissance and modernity, tradition and innovation,” said Claudio Bisogniero, the Italian Ambassador to the United States. “There is no better place than the National Air and Space Museum to house this incomparable work dedicated to flight and to appreciate Leonardo’s scientific genius.” 

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