Louvre blockbuster: honouring Leonardo da Vinci 500 years on

A blockbuster retrospective of Leonardo da Vinci opens  on Thursday at the Louvre Museum to mark 500 years since the death of the Renaissance master in the historic town of Amboise, France.

Nearly 200,000 people have already reserved their place in line for the exhibition, the biggest ever organised to showcase the Tuscan polymath’s indelible contributions to humanity — with an emphasis on his painting. A decade in the planning the show, simply titled Leonardo da Vinci groups 162 works, including 24 drawings lent by Queen Elizabeth II of Britain from the Royal Collection.

The British Museum, the Hermitage of Saint Petersburg and the Vatican have also contributed, as well as, of course, Italy — after a sometimes acrimonious tug-of-war between Rome and Paris over the loans.

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