An Italian court has given the go-ahead for Leonardo da Vinci's 'Vitruvian Man' to travel to France for an exhibition, after a push by a heritage group to keep the iconic drawing in Italy.
The ruling gives the green light for the artowrk to travel to the Louvre for an exhibition that starts next week, celebrating the 500th anniversary of da Vinci's death. It will open on 24 October and run until the end of February. In return for the loan of Vitruvian Man, France will lend Italy two Raphael paintings for an exhibition that marks the 500th anniversary of his death next year.
Vitruvian Man - a paper sketch that charts the proportions of a human body - is one of the most famous artworks in the world. Because of its fragility not many people get to see it. It's rarely displayed and spends most of its time locked in a climate-controlled vault at Venice's Gallerie dell'Accademia.
In 2017 it was agreed the Vitruvian Man would go on display in France but the loan was put on hold last week after Italia Nostra, a cultural and heritage group, filed a complaint saying the drawing was too fragile to travel. There were also concerns that the delicate sketch risked being damaged by lighting in the room where it will be displayed at the Louvre. The group launched an appeal with an Italian court to keep the artwork in Italy but it was rejected on Wednesday, according to AFP.
After consulting with experts, it was agreed that these issues would be resolved if special care was taken during transportation, as well as limiting the light in the display room.
The Louvre's blockbuster da Vinci exhibition has been a decade in the making and the museum is bracing itself for masses of eager art lovers. For the first time ever, reservation will be obligatory for all visitors. Entry is permitted through a timed-ticketing policy for 30-minute intervals to alleviate overcrowding.
Already the museum holds the largest collection of da Vinci paintings in the world (including the Mona Lisa), as well as 22 drawings but it promises even bigger things for the exhibition. Other works being borrowed include the Battle of Anghiari and the Adoration of the Magi from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, as well as loans from private collectors.
Leonardo Da Vinci, the exhibition, will run from 24 October 2019 to 24 February, 2020. Ticketing information can be found on the museum's official website here.