Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester to return to Italy

Italians will have a rare chance to see one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s most intriguing notebooks when it goes on display in Florence next year.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester to return to Italy
The Codex Leicester. Photo: public domain, via Philip Kurlapski/Wikimedia Commons.

Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester is set to return on loan from its owner, Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, ahead of the 500th anniversary of Da Vinci's death.

Since buying the manuscript for more than $30 million in 1994, Gates has loaned it to museums in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Next year, he will lend it to an Italian institution for the first time in decades: the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, where it will be on display from October 2018 to January 2019.

The 72-page manuscript, covered in dense notes written from right to left and punctuated by the Renaissance artist’s sketches, contains Da Vinci’s reflections on everything from tides to geology, why the moon is paler than the sun to how best to build bridges.

 Photo: public domain, via Rosenrot21/Wikimedia Commons

It is considered one of the most important of all Da Vinci’s 30 scientific manuscripts.

Gates had each of its pages unbound and scanned to create a digital version, parts of which were included with Microsoft products. 

The manuscript itself was last displayed in Italy in 1995, in Venice. Three of Da Vinci’s other notebooks are on permanent display in Italy, two in Milan and one in Turin. 


The new guide to Florence’s Uffizi Galleries – showing only the nudes

There are lots of guides to the visual splendours of Florence's world-famous galleries - but for those with a short attention span comes a new one, showing only nude or erotic artworks.

The new guide to Florence's Uffizi Galleries - showing only the nudes
Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" is the most famous work included in a controversial new guide to the Uffizi Galleries. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The online guide to the gallieries is produced by the porn website Pornhub and provide a list of the best erotic artworks in each museum, plus directions of how to get there – so you don’t need to waste your time looking at paintings of people in clothes.

Part of the site’s Classic Nudes series of ‘erotic’ guides to some of the world’s most renowned museums, the guide for the Uffizi lists 21 artworks, together with a tongue-in-cheek commentary, and the location of each piece within the galleries.

“The Uffizi Gallery is located in the birthplace of the Renaissance: Florence, Italy. So it’s no wonder it has such a large collection of artwork from the era. But what you may find surprising is the sheer volume and variety of naked bodies rendered in paint, bronze and marble in this marvelous museum,” writes Pornhub.

Among the works featured are Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (1485) and the Roman statue of the Knidian Aphrodite, dating from the 1st Century.

The guide also includes the Venus of Urbino by Titian (1538), which it calls “kinky”, and Painting and Poetry by Francesco Furini (1626), which is described as featuring “two ridiculously hot babes who just so happen to be making out”.

Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Bosses at the Uffizi were not amused at the gallery’s inclusion in Pornhub’s series and have threatened to sue.

Meanwhile in Paris, the Louvre’s management has said only that it is ‘dismayed’, while the Musée d’Orsay remained silent on the subject.

As is hopefully clear, the Pornhub guides are explicit in nature and not suitable for children.

The Uffizi does, however, provide a great day out for all the family and contains a lot of fully-clothed artwork too. At present it is operating with reduced visitor numbers due to health rules, so advance booking to recommended.