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‘Da Vinci – The Genius’ extended

Da Vinci is a hit.

“Da Vinci – Genius” extends its run at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science until Aug. 29. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

The traveling exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science has been extended for another month.

“Da Vinci – The Genius” will now close on Aug. 29.

The extension is due to more than 70,000 people visiting the exhibit, which opened on Feb. 10.

This includes more than 200 separate groups from New Mexico public and private schools reaching nearly 20,000 students.

“During Da Vinci, 5,000 more students have come through the museum than during the same time period last year,” said Margie Marino, director of the NMMNHS. “And we obviously expect admission numbers will continue at higher levels through the end of the exhibition.”

The Da Vinci exhibit contains two parts: “The Secrets of Mona Lisa” and “The Inventions.” More than 200 pieces are in the exhibit; about 75 are large-scale or interactive models of Leonardo da Vinci’s designs.

Admission to the Da Vinci exhibit costs $22 and will get visitors into the museum’s planetarium for a sky show, as well. Marino said that about 40 percent of those who purchase Da Vinci tickets are staying to see the planetarium show.

The museum also has an online ticketing system, which Marino said has been working out great for both the museum and visitors, in spite of early concerns.

To handle the increased visitation at the Old Town-area museum, Marino has hired three temporary staffers – one maintenance, one security and one exhibit maintenance – costing $70,000.

As part of the exhibit’s ongoing program, the museum will host acclaimed author Michael J. Gelb, “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci,” as the first speaker in a new lecture series, titled “The Brain: It’s More Than You Think.”

Gelb will speak July 26 in anticipation of two planned exhibitions coming in 2019.

Pictured is a visitor inspecting a replica of the back panel depicting the Mona Lisa painting at the “Da Vinci – Genius” exhibit in Albuquerque. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

In Feb. 2019, the NMMNHS will host an exhibition from the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum called “Drugs: Costs and Consequences, Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause,” as well as another traveling exhibit on the human brain titled “Brain: The Inside Story” from the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The two July 26 Michael Gelb programs will be held at the Museum and DynaTheater.

The cost of admission for the lecture is $50, which includes lunch in the Community Gallery of the Museum from noon to 1:30 p.m., remarks by the author, a signed copy of Gelb’s book “How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci” and nontransferable admission to “Da Vinci – The Genius” exhibition.

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