Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Da Vinci works draw record crowds

A portrait of a young woman by Da Vinci. Royal Collection  2008 HM The Queen
The sketches were shown to mark the 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales

An exhibition of rare sketches by the Renaissance master Leonardo Da Vinci has drawn a record 25,000 people to Stirling's Smith art gallery.

The small gallery, which ordinarily attracts only a handful of visitors a day, was chosen as the sole Scottish venue to host ten works by the artist.

At its peak the exhibition, which concluded on Sunday, attracted 523 visitors in just one day.

The works are being shown to mark the Prince of Wales' 60th birthday.

The drawings, which are part of the Royal Collection, are usually housed in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle.

The museum's curator, Dr Elspeth King, said the popularity of the exhibition had exceeded all expectations.

She added: "It has been a wonderful experience to be able to host such a prestigious exhibition that has allowed the people of Stirling to access the works on show by Leonardo Da Vinci."

Following its appearance in Stirling, the exhibition is moving to the National Library of Wales, before concluding at the Manchester Art Gallery in May 2009.

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