Michelangelo’s David At Risk of Earthquake Damage

Photo: Annie Slizak via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo: Annie Slizak via Wikimedia Commons.

Michelangelo’s David (1501-1504), a central piece of the Renaissance, is under threat of tremors after 250 small earthquakes hit Florence in December. Italy’s Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, announced that the country will spend €200,000 ($230,906) on what is described as an “anti-seismic plinth” to make the statue’s platform more stable. A rep from the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence where David has been housed since 1873, said the plinth should be completed and ready in about a year.

After discovering the famed sculpture was at risk of collapsing due to micro-fractures in the ankles, the Galleria dell’Accademia limited the number of visitors to the statue and placed the statue on a platform to minimize vibrations. Italy’s National Research found that the statue had been sculpted with low-grade marble and had been situated to place additional pressure on the ankles.

Marco Ferri, a spokesperson for the museum is quoted as telling Agence France-Presse (AFP) that “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.”


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