The Cost Of Ignorance
Leonardo Da Vinci died on May 2nd, 1519. He passed on all his materials and intellectual legacy to a friend named Francesco Melzi. Melzi was an artist like Leonardo, therefore he understood the importance of knowledge, history and discoveries. At a point, Melzi had to move from the dying place of Leonardo to another city. On that day, his carriage included wooden models, metal models, paintings, and many boxes of books. There were more than 13,000 pages of notes!
Melzi had a plan to publish Leonardos note in order to ensure the continuation of Leonardos legacy. Unfortunately, Melzi died young. His whole work and that of Leonardo passed on to his son, Orazio. Orazio was nothing like his father. He did not cherish knowledge, had no respect for history and does not care if any intellectual legacy is passed on or destroyed. Orazio packed everything his father had, including Leonardos work, and stashed them in a room, to be forgotten. He had no interest in them. One day, his tutor found out that the Melzi family had the complete intellectual legacy of Leonardo. He couldnt believe it. The Great Leonardo Da Vincis legacy was in this house and no one was using and no one was making money from it. He convinced Orazio to give him a part of Leonardos notes. Once received, the tutor sold it at a huge price to the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
A certain intellectual, Mazenta was told about the piece of Leonardos note with the Grand Duke. He embarked on a moral crusade to convince the grand duke to return the note so that Leonardos legacy would not be scattered. After so many tries, he succeeded. When he returned the work to Orazio, Orazio told him he could keep as they had so many notes of Leonardo already. Mazenta was stunned!
Gradually, news spread out that the Melzi family had many of Leonardos notes. People came around to ask for a piece of it. Orazio, in his kind ignorance, will cut a piece and give to each person that came. By the end of his life, the notes had all been distributed. It was not until centuries later that scientist, scholars, and rich men began to collect back Leonardos works into one place. Only about 7,000 were found. More than half were lost due to the ignorant action of Orazio.
In 1994, Bill Gates purchased the most famous of these notes, Codex Hammer, for 30 million dollars. What Orazio had given for free was worth so much, even in his day. But he was ignorant to see it. ignorance is expensive.