Da Vinci’s 560th birthday to be celebrated with a trip to Italy

Da Vinci’s 560th birthday to be celebrated with a trip to Italy

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Da Vinci’s 560th birthday to be celebrated with a trip to Italy

Florence is included in the tour program organized for da Vinci’s birthday.

The 560th birthday of Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci, the creator of the Mona Lisa, one of the best-loved paintings in the world, is being celebrated this year. A special will leave from Turkey, to take those who want to get an up-close look at the famous artist’s works, and attend birthday celebrations for da Vinci in Italy.

The dates of the tour are April 11-16, and it will be led by da Vinci researcher Sevgi Gürtuna. Stops will include Florence and Milan. Gürtüna told the Anatolia news agency she first went to Italy, da Vinci’s homeland, in 1982, when she won a scholarship from the Istanbul Italian Culture Center. She fell in love with the country at first sight, and has tried to visit every region of Italy at every opportunity over the past 30 years. “It is due to my love for Italy that I finished my postgraduate education in art history.” 

Gürtüna says she avidly read every article she could find on da Vinci since her high school years. “I have visited museums exhibiting his works, and studied his figures carefully. When I was alone I couldn’t adequately express my enthusiasm, so I began visiting the same places with my art-historian friends. Now I am curious about the synergy of going to these sites together with more people who want to feel Leonardo’s soul.” 

April 15, da Vinci’s birthday, was declared World Art Day at the International Association of Arts’ General Committee meeting in April 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Celebrations will be organized for the first time this year. Gürtüna said 2012 will mark the anniversary of da Vinci’s 560th birthday, and it will be celebrated with many exhibitions of his work and events in many countries, including Italy, France and the United Kingdom. 

Celebrations at da Vinci’s birthplace 

The tour will start in Milan, Gürtüna said, where da Vinci spent 22 years of his life, and where his “Last Supper” fresco, one of his important works, is located. “After seeing all of da Vinci’s works in Milan, we will move on to Tuscany, where the painter lived for 30 years. We will see the streets in Florence where his atelier and house were located. Then we will celebrate his birthday on April 15.” 

Gürtuna said the next stop will be the “Museo Ideale di Leonardo da Vinci,” Italy’s first museum dealing exclusively with the complex life and work of Leonardo, located in the town of Vinci. “I think this trip could appeal to anyone who thinks that da Vinci was a great genius. I will be very happy to share my years of studying da Vinci with those joining me on the tour. My goal is to capture the soul of his era, while introducing da Vinci as an artist, scientist and engineer. I hope we will continue to offer this tour in the coming years.”