Da Vinci exhibit six-month stay causes people to find another event space

jtate@bradenton.comAugust 23, 2013 

BRADENTON -- In November, an exhibit representing the work of one of world's greatest artists of all time is coming to Bradenton.

The Da Vinci exhibit will occupy the Bradenton Auditorium for six months, said Bradenton City Clerk Carl Callahan. During the exhibit the auditorium, 1005 First Ave. W., will not be available to the public for weddings, luncheons and other events.

"We signed the contract for the exhibit and it will be there from Nov. 1 to the end of April," said Callahan.

The exhibit opens Nov. 15. However, Callahan said people can book the auditorium right up until October.

"Right now it's business as usual," he said.

Bradenton City Council approved the contract for the exhibit Aug. 14.

Callahan said the city is referring people to other venues such as the Renaissance on 9th, the Bradenton-Area Convention Center and the Manatee Performing Arts Center.

"We are currently just suggesting alternatives," said Callahan.

Management at the Renaissance on 9th said they are happy to assist any displaced event or party planners. Jill McGarry, marketing manager for Meals on

Wheels of Manatee PLUS and Renaissance on 9th, said they have already received booking inquiries from people who could not use the auditorium.

"We are happy to accommodate any event or party," said McGarry.

Mayor Wayne Poston said the city at one time could not allow an event to tie up the Bradenton Auditorium for an extended period of time.

"It used to be there were no other options, but that's not the story anymore," said Poston.

The exhibit will bring about 75 inventions by Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519), created by Italian artisans from sketches in Da Vinci's notebooks. Inventions such as a helicopter, catapult and bicycle will be featured. Almost half of the approximately 75 machines in the exhibit are interactive.

Poston said Bradenton is the smallest town the exhibit will visit, including Los Angeles, St. Louis, Denver and the continent of Australia.

"Throughout the whole region it will be a draw. I think it will be a win for everybody," Poston said.

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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