Page last updated at 23:05 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 00:05 UK

Rare Da Vinci works go on display

A portrait of a young woman by Da Vinci. Royal Collection  2008 HM The Queen
Among the sketches on display is this portrait of a young woman

An exhibition of rare works by the Renaissance master Leonardo Da Vinci has opened at the Stirling Smith art gallery.

The gallery was chosen as the sole Scottish venue to host the works to mark the Prince of Wales' 60th birthday.

Ten of the Royal Collection's sketches will be on show until 2 November.

The drawings cannot be put on permanent display due to light damage and are among the most important by the artist.

The works are usually housed in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle.

The Smith's chairman of trustees, Councillor Colin O'Brien, said bringing the exhibition to Stirling had required a great effort from the local community.

He said: "It is an honour and a privilege for the historic City of Stirling to be chosen as the only Scottish venue to exhibit works of art that are among the greatest treasures of Her Majesty The Queen's collection.

"I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to all who have been instrumental in ensuring that this unique exhibition comes to Stirling.

"The Friends of the Smith, the local community and local businesses have been an integral part in the preparation for the exhibition."

Following its appearance at the Smith, the exhibition will move to the National Library of Wales before concluding at the Manchester Art Gallery in May 2009.

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