Agnes Marcetteau (L), director of Nantes media library, and Jean-Marc Ayrault, Mayor of Nantes, present to the media "an autograph" attributed to Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor Leonardo da Vinci. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe.
NANTES (REUTERS).- A long-lost fragment of manuscript by Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci has been uncovered in a public library in western France after lying forgotten in storage for nearly one and a half centuries. The text, written from right to left in Da Vinci's trademark mirror-writing, was among 5,000 documents donated to the city of Nantes in 1872 by wealthy collector Pierre-Antoine Labouchere, and then left to languish in local archives. It was only when a local journalist came across a reference to the document's location in a biography of the Italian master that the manuscript was finally tracked down. "He was most probably writing in 15th-century Italian, and possibly in other languages, so it's now got to be deciphered," said Agnes Marcetteau, head of the Nantes library where the manuscript was found. For the time