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The Da Vinci Science Center (DSC), as it is known today, took shape in July 2003 with the merger of the Discovery Center of Science and Technology and Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse, Inc. (LDVHI) – the nonprofit organization that actualized Leonardo’s vision of placing a 24-foot bronze horse statue in Milan, Italy.
Leonardo envisioned “Il Cavallo” in the 15th century, but war and circumstance prevented him from completing his masterpiece. The late Charles C. Dent of Allentown, Pa. – a retired commercial airline pilot, diplomatic activist, and arts patron – dedicated the final 17 years of his to life to bringing The Horse to life. While Charles C. Dent passed away in 1994, the organization he founded carried on under the leadership of his nephew, Peter C. Dent. LDVHI unveiled the completed statue on Sept. 10, 1999, before a worldwide audience. The statue stands as a symbol of goodwill between the American people and the people of Italy.
The leaders of both the Discovery Center and LDVHI shared a passion for igniting curious minds by engaging them in active, hands-on learning. Both groups also appreciated how their respective disciplines connected with other elements of the human experience.
While focused on inspiring kids to be interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, the Da Vinci Science Center also highlights science’s connections with areas of public interest, especially the arts, and promotes curiosity, creativity, and the qualities of greatness that have been embodied by Leonardo da Vinci and transformative men and women who have succeeded him – as adapted for 21st century life.
The Da Vinci Science Center owns the intellectual and licensing rights for the Leonardo’s Horse sculpture. Additional sculptures have been placed since 1999 at the Da Vinci Science Center; at The Baum School of Art in Allentown, Pa. Sculptures also have been commissioned and placed in and Grand Rapids, Mich.; Sheridan, Wyo; and in Leonardo’s hometown of Vinci in Italy.