By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
As part of a global yearlong commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the death the great Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci, Mexico City’s historic Palacio de la Autonomía is hosting an extraordinary interactive and immersive multimedia exhibit on the life and works of the Renaissance master.
The exhibit, titled “Da Vinci Experience,” was created by the Italian entertainment company Crossmedia Group with the curation of Roberta Barsanti, director of the Leonardo Museum in Vinci, Italy, where the late artist, scientist and investor was born.
The exhibit is divided into four parts, with the first segment providing a brief pictorial history of Da Vinci’s most important works through life-size print reproductions.
The second section is the heart of the exhibit, where visitors are offered that chance to experience a three-dimensional vision of some of Da Vinci’s most important machines and inventions in operation through special virtual reality glasses.
Next, there is a room with images projected on the floor, walls and ceiling in a continuous loop that tells the story of the artist and the significance of his accomplishments with wrap-around pictures and a moving original soundtrack.
The final section of the exhibit — which at the time of the press preview was not open due to complications with Mexican customs agents holding up the pieces in Veracruz — consists of 11 wooden replicas of Da Vinci model machines.
The Da Vinci Experience exhibit is slated to remain on display at the Palacio de la Autonomía, just behind the Templo Mayor and Zócalo, through Feb. 16, and is open daily (except Dec. 25 and Jan. 1) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There is a 95-peso admission fee, with children under age 13, the elderly, handicapped and university students paying only 65 pesos.
Until the machine models are freed up from Mexican customs, the museum is offering a 50 percent discount on all tickets.