Culture

Michelangelo's David may collapse due to weak legs

Italian scientists have confirmed that Michelangelo's “David” statue has too weak shins, which could cause the destruction of the famous creation of the great artist and sculptor.

One of the most famous statues in the world, showing a vision of the male body of the Renaissance, is in the balance of destruction due to its weak legs. As recent studies by Italian scientists from the National Research Council (www.cnr.it) and the University of Florence (www.unifi.it) have shown, the long-standing fears of art historians and connoisseurs can, unfortunately, be justified at any time. The constant vibrations that are created due to the strong influx of tourists into Florence, as well as the constant traffic, also directly affect the conservation of the sculpture.

Already today, many tourists who had the opportunity to look at the statue of David can confirm that cracks are already noticeable on it. Many experts explain the wear of this stunning creation of the great master by the fact that a statue weighing 5.5 tons is in an inclined state, which creates an additional burden on David's legs.

Given the material from which Michelangelo Buanarroti created the sculpture, it can be assumed that its destruction is a matter of time.

“Microcracks can be seen on the left knee of the statue and on the carved pedestal (which also accounts for a significant part of David’s weight), which threatens the safety of the sculpture,” the researchers explain. Scientists made several small copies of the statue from gypsum, placed them in a centrifuge, providing the desired level of pressure.

The original statue is currently located in the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence, near the tunnel, and a copy of it is placed on the Piazza della Signorina. “The tunnel will run about 600 meters from the statue, whose knees are known to be dotted with microcracks. If it is not transferred before the start of the construction of the tunnel, there is a high probability that it will collapse. The risk of collapse will be too great in case of resonance caused by digging equipment, as well as vibration from trains traveling in the tunnel and the movement of tourists, ”explained Fernando De Simone, an underground project specialist, back in 2011, and he turned out to be right. For many years, art connoisseurs have been urging authorities to move the statue of David from the city center to a special museum that can withstand earthquakes, traffic, and construction and repair work taking place nearby.

Michelangelo worked for many years on the statue of David, and for the first time the sculpture was presented to the Florentines on September 8, 1504. Soon, Florence proclaimed a five-meter statue as an object of local heritage, as well as a symbol of the military power of the city despite the small size of David. To this day, the statue is considered the pinnacle of art not only of the Renaissance, but of all world art. Michelangelo's sculpture depicts a naked David, a biblical character, preparing to battle with giant Goliath. The innovation brought by the Italian master was that Michelangelo, unlike his contemporaries, preferred to show the hero before, and not after his feat.

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