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Exhibit Highlights Leonardo's 'Curious Genius'

An exhibit in Rome sheds new light on Leonardo da Vinci's versatility as architect, engineer and a visionary, many of whose inventions were precursors of today's technological achievements.

The exhibit, "A Curious Genius," consists of items from Leonardo's Codex Atlanticus -- the large collection of his notebooks and scientific drawings of mechanics, hydraulic engineering, optics and military architecture. The drawings are accompanied by a dozen newly built models of machines based on his designs.

Leonardo's drawings and notes -- filled with detailed suggestions for projects -- are an insight into his thought process. Many of the designs were futuristic ideas that could not be carried out because the necessary technology did not exist in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The exhibit will remain open at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome until Feb. 28. After making its way through Europe, it will travel to the United States in 2007.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's International Desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe, and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and how immigration has transformed European societies.