Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus to be disassembled on pages

Leonardo da Vinci. One of the pages from Atlanticus Codex. Ambroziana Library, Milan

The Alanticus Codex by Leonardo da Vinci will be disassembled on pages in the nearest future. Such decision was accepted on Tuesday according to the results of long research work in which the leading experts of the world took part.

The codex including over 1120 drawings and records devoted to a wide range of subjects was made in the end of 16th century by the Italian sculptor Pompeo Leone. He disassembled some Leonardo’s existing diaries and then placed sheets on larger 402 pages and bound them in one huge volume.

During the restoration of 1968−1972 the Codex was divided into 12 separate volumes that according to experts harmed the documents. “The Codex has already been destroyed, – the researcher Carlo Pedretti comments. − Dismantle of volumes will promote to preservation of pages and will make their exposition easy”. As some experts notice the restoration will allow to realize scientific researches of sheets that was impossible in the conditions of 1960s.

The decision on restoration is made according to the results of the detailed analysis of a condition of the documents stored in Milan Ambrosiana library. The research was initiated in 2007 by a group of scientists who had found out black stains on pages of the Codex which as believed could be a mould. The analysis of the pigment showed that the stains are the result of salts of the mercury used in the course of preservation of ancient documents. According to Professor Jeanfranko Torsitani, the Head of a commission of experts, mercury affected only paper the covers of which were made in 1960s, and is not dangerous for the Leonardo’s sheets. Torsitani also noticed that the conditions of Codex’s storage exclude the presence of fungus and any other bacteriological diseases which are one of the most widespread reasons of damage of ancient documents.

Atlanticus Codex was represented to public for the first time in 1998. The next exposition which should take place in 2009 on the threshold of the 400th anniversary of the library most likely will be put off.

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Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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