Leonardo Da Vinci is one of the world’s most renowned artists. His paintings such as the Cenacolo Vinciano or Last Supper have a global following, yet his Mona Lisa has been taunted as one of the most recognisable artworks and his Salvator Mundi is said to be the most expensive painting.
On Monday replicas of Da Vinci’s works came to Uganda in an exhibition, Leonardo Opera Omnia at the Uganda Museum.
Organised by the Italian Embassy, the Da Vinci exhibition is part of a weeklong celebrations of the Italian Cultural and Culinary week that from November 18 till 23.
The month long exhibition brings together at least seventeen works of the Italian’s painting including The Annunciation, Madonna and Child, Portrait of a Musician and Mona Lisa.
During the opening, Italian Ambassador Massimliano Mazzanti, noted that the exhibition is just one of the ways the Embassy of Italy is working with art and culture in Uganda but will be involved in other fields such as film, fashion and culinary.
Vice President, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, the Chief Guest thanked the Embassy of Italy Kampala for giving the museum a facelift through various renovations towards the exhibition.
He said that the exhibition is a chance for Uganda to gain global visibility considering the fact that Da Vinci’s works are celebrated worldwide.
“The exhibition does not only benefit Uganda culturally but also for tourism purposes, the presence of Leonardo Da Vinci’s works is a sign that Uganda is a tourism destination,” he said, adding that the exhibition is a manifestation of Uganda and Italy’s 32 years of a health international relationship.
The Da Vinci exhibition in Kampala coincides with worldwide celebration of 500 years since his death; in France, for example, the Louvre’s exhibition bringing together at least nine of his original works opened in Paris while another one will be opening in Manila in the Philippines.
Uganda is just one of the two African countries where the exhibition has been after it was in Algeria at the beginning of the year. After Uganda, Ethiopia will too get a taste of it later in 2020.
According to Matt Kayem, a visual artist that attended the opening at the Uganda Museum, this is a big opportunity for different stakeholders to pay attention to the existence of visual art.
The exhibition opened to the public yesterday with many of them being allowed into the museum for free, though management noted that beyond Tuesday, the museum charges of access will resume.