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September 20, 2006

Bill Gates and the Da Vinci Codex

Posted by Kim Peterson at 1:49 PM

Bill Gates has had a falling out with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London over how the museum should display a Leonardo da Vinci manuscript that Gates bought in 1994 for $31 million, according to The Art Newspaper (and highlighted by The Stranger).

Gates originally was fine with lending the museum the manuscript, called the Codex Leicester, but was concerned with the lighting. At the light levels proposed by the museum, Gates reportedly only wanted the manuscript shown for an hour a day. Then there was the issue of security:

It is understood that Mr Gates wanted airport-style screening of all visitors for the Leonardo show, which would have been expensive for the V&A and time-consuming for the public. The museum felt this measure was unnecessary, since the Leonardos are displayed in highly secure cases with toughened glass and in a gallery with appropriate security.

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