Mold Ravages Da Vinci Codex
Damage wrought for lack of restoration funding
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2007 8:04 AM CST
Milan, ITALY: Visitors view the Codice Trivulziano, better known as the Da Vinci Codex, writen by Leonardo Da Vinci between 1487 and 1490, on exhibition 23 March 2006 at the Sforzesco Castle in Milan....   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – 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.