Michelangelo’s ‘David’ Is Fine

Michelangelo's David. Courtesy of Annie Slizak. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Despite researchers’ claims that Michelangelo‘s David (1501–04) is riddled with tiny fractures in its ankles that leave the statue at risk of collapse, Florence’s museum authority believes that such disturbing predictions are exaggerated, reports the Guardian.

As artnet News reported last week, a study by Italy’s National Research found that the sculpture had been created with low-grade marble, and was for a century displayed leaning at a slight angle, placing additional pressure on the five-and-a-half-ton, 17-foot-tall colossus. Coupled with the vibrations caused by footfalls from gallery visitors, all of these factors had caused a number of hairline fractures to form in the ankles.

Marco Ferri, a spokesperson for the authority, is unconvinced. “Even if there is an earthquake of 5.0 or 5.5 on the Richter scale, Florence will stay in one piece. And David would be the last to fall,” he told Agence France-Presse. Ferri claims that there is “nothing dramatic about the findings.”

The Galleria dell’Accademia, which has housed the statue since 1873, has limited the number of visitors who can view David in order to minimize vibrations, but has no intention to relocate the statue. “It will not be moved or put on a pneumatic pedestal or anything like that,” Ferri stated, citing the complications of moving such a massive work of art.

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