“In the matter of masterpieces I have a weakness for allegory – which is to say, as the Austrian novelist Robert Musil once put it, that I ‘suppose everything to mean more than it has an honest claim to mean.’ Most great art, of course, possesses subtle inner metaphors, but sometimes I prefer them to be explicit.
“In this kind I particularly cherish a bridge called the Leonardo Bridge, over the motor road E18 at As, some 20 miles south of Oslo in Norway. It is not one of your great bridges. It is only a footbridge, in fact, going nowhere in particular but beloved of boys with bikes because of its steep inclines. It is, however extremely beautiful. A sweeping structure of pine, teak and stainless steel, its path is supported by complex parabolic piers that give it a majesty far beyond its size.
“(Vebjørn) Sand sees The Bridge itself as a sort of logo for the nations, and he wants the da Vinci design to be copied all over the world, on every continent, built in local materials and expressing local traditions…”
- Jan Morris, The Wall Street Journal, 11/05/2005
One of the “Five Coolest Bridges on Earth”
Wired Magazine, January, 2005
“Queen Sonja opened (the Leonardo Bridge Project) officially last week. (Vebjørn) Sand said that the bridge was the first civil engineering scheme by Leonardo to be realized. Its elegant pressed-bow form is based on an engineering principle that was not generally accepted until the 1800’s. Mr. Sand now wants to put a Leonardo Bridge on every continent. The bridge, he says, “…touches something eternal.”
Peter Hall, NY Times, 11/08/2001
“A sweeping modern footbridge, based on plans drawn up by Leonardo da Vinci in 1502, has just been completed by the Norwegian artist, Vebjørn Sand in collaboration with the Norwegian Transportation Ministry.
“The wasp-wasted bridge is only 23 inches thick in the middle, with the arches curving out to a thickness of five and a half feet at their bases. Da Vinci discovered the principle of distributing the force of an arch by making the footholds wider and using the ground to maintain tension centuries before it came into common use.”
Eric Nash, NY Times 12/09/01
“The Painter, Architect, Engineer and Sculptor Leonardo da Vinci embodied the Renaissance, and his sly smiling Mona Lisa and recently restored Last Supper have thrilled viewers for centuries. Yet Leonardo often had trouble completing his grand murals, statues and buildings. This was partly due to the technology of the time not being advanced enough to achieve what he envisioned, but it was also a result of the simple yet unlucky whims of history.
“A bridge that Leonardo designed in 1502…is scheduled for construction outside Oslo and there is talk of building similar bridges in Des Moines, Iowa and Istanbul itself.”
- Daniel Levy, Time Magazine 10/4/99