A new exhibition featuring the machines, models and masterpieces of Italian genius, Leonardo da Vinci opens at Canterbury Museum on Saturday.

More than 60 creations on loan from the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence will bring to life the designs of the original Renaissance Man.

Each machine has been hand-crafted using the materials of the time by the internationally-acclaimed Artisans of Florence, and is accompanied by images of da Vinci's original designs.

"The first da Vinci exhibition at the Museum in Winter 2008 was very popular and we're delighted that this time we can make it free entry for the thousands of visitors we're expecting at the museum over the Christmas and January holiday period," said museum director Anthony Wright.

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"Visitors will be able see da Vinci's dreams and designs translated into reality, many of which became innovations in the development of European civilisation for centuries after his time."

Da Vinci studied the workings of nature's devices and sought to recreate these as practical machines: machines for moving water, for war, for excavating, for drilling and, perhaps most famously, for flight.

Exhibition highlights include a spring powered car, hang glider, and a robotic drummer.

The exhibition also features anatomical models and high quality canvases of da Vinci's most famous artworks, including Mona Lisa, Vitruvian Man, The Last Supper and The Annunciation.

Da Vinci Mechanics opens on Saturday and runs until February 8 next year.