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‘SALUTE’ LEONARDO

Over a million people attend the Louvre’s special exhibition for Leonardo da Vinci

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In celebration of his 500th death anniversary in France, the Louvre in Paris put up a special exhibition for renowned Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci with the museum’s very own collection.

A total of almost 1.1 million attended the exhibition, breaking the record for the world’s most visited museum’s biggest audience by nearly double the number—in 2018, around 540,000 showed up for an exhibit for 19th-century French painter Eugene Delacroix.

“It is marvelous that an Italian Renaissance artist continues to fascinate the public,” says the Louvre’s director Jean-Luc Martinez, adding how proud he was of having “brought together the biggest number of Leonardo’s works for a show, and of having welcomed such a huge diverse group of visitors.”

Leonardo da Vinci's La Belle Ferronniere at the Louvre

Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronniere at the Louvre (Photo from AFP)

Surprisingly the Mona Lisa, arguably Leonardo’s most famous work, was absent from the exhibition, as organizers feared crowd-control problems. There were still, however, around 120 works on display since October, including the Louvre’s Saint John the Baptist and La Belle Ferronniere.

On average, nearly 10,000 people a day visit the Louvre to see Leonardo’s works including paintings, notebooks, drawings, manuscripts, and sculptures. The museum opened all night on the show’s last three days to allow the maximum number of people to see it.

Still, it did not beat the French record set by a Tutankhamun exhibit from Egypt’s National Museum, which was attended by 1.4 million people at the Villette arts complex in northern Paris last year. AFP

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