An onslaught of red, black, and purple mold has turned the Codex Atlanticus, the largest collection of writings and drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci, into a "precious sick patient," the Times of London reports. The mold, discovered by an American scholar, is attacking 12,000 codex sheets at a Milan library for lack of restoration funds.
The problem arose because visiting scholars who leaf through the pages expose them to humidity and the atmosphere. The Codex, dating from 1478 to 1519, features sketches of some of Da Vinci's most brilliant inventions. A group of Italian scholars have carried out minimal emergency restoration at their own expense; no funding exists for more extensive and costly restoration.