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Leonardo da Vinci's 'triple machine gun' cannon prototype discovered

June 11, 2011 - London

A gun found in 1968 by a group of children who were digging in the 15th century Klicevica fortress, has finally been identified by archeologists in Croatia as the world's only triple-barrel cannon inspired by the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci.

Until now, attempts to properly analyse it were stymied by Croatia's war of independence and a lack of funds.

The weapon almost exactly matches a model of da Vinci's triple-barrelled cannon design, which is on display in the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, reports The Telegraph.

The bronze cannon also bears a striking resemblance to sketches drawn by the Renaissance inventor, notably in his Codex Atlanticus - the largest collection of his drawings and writing.

"We cannot say with 100 per cent certainty that it was built to Leonardo da Vinci's designs but the resemblance to his sketches is remarkable. We think there is a very high probability that it was manufactured to his designs," said Marin Curkovic, the director of a museum in the nearby town of Benkovac, where the cannon went on display this week as the centre-piece of a new exhibition.

The cannon may not have been an enormous success - the lower part of the barrels have been blown away, suggesting it may have jammed and exploded, probably killing or seriously injuring whoever was operating it.


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