x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Da Vinci’s genius machines to come to life at Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace

An exhibition dedicated to the universal genius of the Italian will be held at Emirates Palace from June 5 to June 30, and will feature 40 of the machines drawn by the Italian genius.

An exhibition dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci will be held in Abu Dhabi next week. It has already been presented in Austria, Germany and Turkey, and attracts more than 8,000 visitors per month. Attila Kisbenedek / AFP PHOTO
An exhibition dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci will be held in Abu Dhabi next week. It has already been presented in Austria, Germany and Turkey, and attracts more than 8,000 visitors per month. Attila Kisbenedek / AFP PHOTO

ABU DHABI // The 15th to 16th century designs of Leonardo da Vinci will come to life in Abu Dhabi next month.

An exhibition dedicated to the universal genius of the Italian will be held at Emirates Palace hotel from June 5 to June 30 and will feature 40 of the real life-size machines drawn by the renaissance inventor and artist.

“We are very honoured to host an exhibition which provides very precise evidence of the excellence of Italian culture, technology, philosophy and innovation capacity,” Italian ambassador to the UAE Giorgio Starace said.

Hundreds of visitors from across the country are expected to see the machines, which are not just “models”.

“The potential of this exhibition is very high due to the fact that it shows how many instruments we use every day were conceived more than 500 years ago by an Italian genius like Leonardo da Vinci,” Mr Starace said.

According to Augusto Biagi, the exhibition’s benefactor, the items are all entirely made to da Vinci’s codes and material specifications by engineers and carpenters in Florence, Italy.

“The machines were all based on the original designs da Vinci made, as well as his materials – we had a team of engineers in Italy who worked with carpenters to develop these sophisticated products,” Mr Biagi said.

“It took a long time and, for the 40 items that will be exhibited in Emirates Palace, their production took between 12 and 18 months to complete.”

He added that the exhibition will focus on da Vinci’s contribution to technology, highlighting the genius of a man who was not just a painter and sculptor but also an inventor.

“We started the exhibition in Vienna in 2008 and then a permanent museum was made in Rome and the exhibits were kept in the Codici Vinciani,” he said.

The machines have been built and glued together using wood and cords and each model is accompanied by descriptive panels with reproductions of da Vinci’s original drawings.

In the exhibition, the machines and devices designed by da Vinci are grouped into four sections – air, water, earth and fire.

There is also an interactive section dedicated to the “mechanical elements”, Mr Biagi said.

“It allows visitors to literally animate the machines, putting them in motion, thus understanding the underlying principles of physics and mechanics, which Leonardo discovered and applied,” he said.

A 3D virtual experience of the exhibition is also available.

“You can download the application from the [iTunes] App Store, which allows you the opportunity to explore the life of Leonardo da Vinci and his works in detail,” he said.

The exhibition has already been presented in Austria, Germany and Turkey, recording more than 8,000 visitors per month.

Entitled “Leonardo da Vinci – the genius and his inventions”, this is the first time the exhibition will be presented in the Middle East, Mr Biagi added.

On average, there are 100,000 visitors a year to the da Vinci Museum in Rome, of which 30 per cent are schoolchildren.

A preview of the exhibit will be shown at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal Abu Dhabi during the Italian National Day event on Sunday.

amustafa@thenational.ae