More than 72,000 visitors have seen the drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci in an exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
BMAG had only expected around 20,000 to attend the exhibition, which ends today (Sunday), after it was loaned to the city by the Queen from her Royal Collection to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
More than a thousand people a day packed out the art gallery to see the ten drawings selected to show the scope of Leonardo’s interests – painting and sculpture, engineering, botany, mapmaking, hydraulics and anatomy.
It also showcased his use of different media – pen and ink, red and black chalks and metalpoint.
Simon Cane, head of BMAG operations, said existing “robust” security measures were maintained for the exhibition.
He said: “Birmingham is an internationally-known and renowned gallery. The exhibition is what the people of Birmingham deserve – a chance to see works like this in their own city.”
UB40’s Brian Travers was in the queue of people who lined the museum’s corridors at the start of the collection’s national tour.
The saxophonist, who attended Moseley Road Art School, said: “I feel incredibly privileged to be here. When I was a little boy I tried to copy these drawings, you could see the lines and there was no trickery in there.
“Of course you were always disappointed when you looked at your own drawings compared to these.
“Getting this collection is fantastic, it’s a great coup for the city.”
Pauline Ruocco, aged 70, was one of the very first art gallery visitors to see the drawings.
The retired nurse, from Selly Oak, said: “I’ve always loved Leonardo Da Vinci.
“He was such a talented man – he seemed to see the future.”
When the Staffordshire Hoard of gold and jewels opened at the museum on September 25, 2009, it attracted 7,500 visitors in the first two days and some 10,000 people had seen it by the end of the first weekend.