A visitor watches a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Garzatrice continua' (Horizontal wool weaving machine) during the exhibition (AFP/Alberto Pizzoli)
A major exhibition dedicated to the scientific genius of Leonardo da Vinci opens in Rome on Wednesday, part of festivities to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of the artist and inventor.
The show at the Scuderie del Quirinale palace, entitled "La scienza prima della scienza" (the science before science), traces the technological and scientific work of da Vinci and reflects on how "the myth of Leonardo" was developed.
More than 200 pieces will be on display including some of his most famous works, which are credited with developing the parachute, helicopter and tank, the museum said ahead of the launch.
Da Vinci was a "European citizen of the world," said exhibition curator Claudio Giorgione.
The polymath was a driving force behind the Renaissance and worked in numerous fields, including painting, sculpture, architecture, science, mathematics and astronomy.
His most recognisable artworks include the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.
The exhibition devotes an entire room to da Vinci's "military genius" with several reproductions of his designs, including his famous "giant crossbow".
Da Vinci was born in the Medici-ruled Republic of Florence in 1452.
He died in France in 1519 and is the most famous left-handed painter in history.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said he will host his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella at Amboise, central France, on May 2 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of da Vinci's death "with French and Italian youth".
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