Florence, Italy: An exact copy of Michelangelo’s statue of David made using 3D printers stands just as tall but weighs ten times less in a workshop in Florence.
Italy has commissioned a replica of the Renaissance masterpiece, which is housed in Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia, to represent the nation at the Dubai Expo 2021, which begins in October.
It was created by a team of technicians at Hexagon Italia, working under the curatorship of the University of Florence, who created a high-definition physical copy that was finished by master restorers.
There were many obstacles, not the least of which was the statue’s enormous size (5.2 meters tall) (17 feet).
It is also one of the most popular sculptures in the world, necessitating meticulous attention to detail.
However, unlike previous casts, this one has the advantage of being carried out without the possibility of injury.
“We digitised the statue with optical instruments without ever touching it,” Levio Valetti, head of marketing at Hexagon Italia, told AFP.
“It’s a much more accurate reproduction than those made in the past, including the casts.”
The statue was carved from a single block of marble between 1501 and 1504, portraying the Biblical hero David, who killed the giant Goliath with his sling.
It was scanned, and an acrylic resin replica was made. It weighs 550 kilograms (1,200 pounds) including the foundation, which is ten times less than the original.
The replica, which is scheduled to arrive in Dubai later this month, was completed by craftsmen and restorers who applied marble dust for an authentic finish.
However, some argue that it would never be as good as the original David.
“No one can ever do that because no copy could capture the pathos of the original,” the head of the Galleria dell’Accademia, Cecilie Hollberg, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
She did, however, suggest that the copy might be “its messenger, its technical, creative, and artisanal alter ego.”
IMAGE COURTESY OF © MASSIMO LAMA/DREAMSTIME.COM