Blockbuster Da Vinci exhibition opens in Istanbul
Artworks including mechanics devices, original handwritten manuscripts and paintings, and drawings based on Da Vinci’s original sketches are displayed in the exhibition, titled “Leonardo da Vinci Expo: A Genius in Istanbul.”
After making its premiere in Belgium, Istanbul is the second stop of the exhibition’s world tour, Vincent Damseaux, a technician responsible for the exhibition, told state-run Anadolu Agency.
The show is the world’s largest Da Vinci exhibition with more than 100 artworks, Damseaux said.
“The exhibition was first opened in Bruges. The reason why they chose Istanbul as the second stop is that it is a very big city and the paths of Da Vinci crossed with the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century,” he added.
“Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II asked Da Vinci to make a drawing for a bridge connecting the two sides of the Golden Horn. He wanted to present this drawing to the sultan and we found it after years in archives,” Damseaux said.
“It isn’t known why the bridge drawing was not accepted but we have made the bridge for this exhibition and are displaying it. In general we feel that the Turkish people’s interest in culture has increased. It is a source of excitement for us to be in Istanbul and this exhibition is an ideal field for children, families and students to see. The exhibition will move to Europe, America and Asia after Istanbul,” he added.
Alper Eyüboğlu, a board member of TurkMall, the organizer of the exhibition, said they had held meetings since April to organize the Turkey leg of the exhibition.
“When I visited the exhibition in Bruges and learned that there was a very nice story behind it, I was really impressed and persuaded them to come to Istanbul,” Eyüboğlu said.
He said the drawings of the Golden Horn Bridge were made by Turkish carpenter Bilal Yazgan over the course of three weeks.
“The exhibition’s tour schedule is full until the end of 2020. So if we want to open this exhibition in another Turkish city, we have to wait until the end of 2020. When visiting the exhibition in Bruges, I saw that it was really a classical exhibition and we wanted to make it a bit different. For example, the world famous figure of the Da Vinci waxwork in Madame Tussauds will be on display here for a month. We have also constructed the draft of Da Vinci’s Golden Horn Bridge. Our visitors will also be able to experience the Flying Machine with 3D glasses,” Eyüboğlu said.
Samples from other artists of the Renaissance period such as Michelangelo, Dürer, Vasari, Donatello, Verrocchio, Giambologna, Raphael, Guardi and Canaletto, as well as original documents inspired by the artist, are also on show in the Istanbul exhibition.
The exhibition can be visited until April 7, 2018.