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Da Vinci’s mechanical lion on display in Paris

Agence France-Presse

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A picture taken on September 11, 2019 shows a mechanical lion that has been recreated 500 years after its invention by Leonardo da Vinci, at the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris. (AFP)

Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mechanical lion on Wednesday went on display in Paris for a month, in a tribute to the Renaissance master 500 years after his death.

The lion, which is two metres (six feet, seven inches) high and three metres long and made of wood with a metal mechanism, is a reconstruction based on a rudimentary sketch left by da Vinci.

The original automaton, long since lost, was designed by da Vinci on a commission from Pope Leo X to amuse French king Francois I.

Da Vinci, who died in May 1519, had a legendary obsession with the flight of birds and how understanding the mechanism could lead to the creation of a human flying machine.

The lion is on display at the Italian Cultural Institue in Paris.

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