- Associated Press - Monday, May 9, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Britain’s National Gallery expects its Leonardo da Vinci show to be one of the most popular in its 187-year history, and is limiting tickets to prevent the exhibition from being overrun.

The gallery said Monday it will sell 180 tickets every 30 minutes to “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan” _ 50 fewer than it is allowed under health and safety rules.

The three-month exhibition, which focuses on the artist’s formative years as a court painter in the 1480s and 1490s, has a capacity of 280,000, and the gallery expects it to sell out.

The gallery says the show brings together the largest-ever collection of the artist’s surviving paintings. The 60 paintings and drawings include works loaned from Italy, France, the United States, Russia and Poland, along with the National Gallery’s recently restored “Virgin of the Rocks.”

It will also include a full-scale copy of “The Last Supper” on loan from the Royal Academy. The original mural is in the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.

Advance booking opens Tuesday. The gallery will stay open until 10 p.m. for the last two weeks of the exhibition, which runs from Nov. 9 until Feb. 5, 2012.



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