Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Five-metre, 3D-printed twin of Michelangelo’s David unveiled as stunning centrepiece of Italy’s Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion

Ceremony also reveals Italy Pavilion’s three overturned hulls forming tricolour flag

Linking history and innovation, David replica will enhance UAE’s thriving arts scene

Sculpture is one of many rich, cultural experiences visitors can enjoy during Expo

DUBAI – A spectacular 3D replica of Michelangelo’s world-famous David sculpture has been installed at the centre of the Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai – a cultural highlight of the next World Expo and an exciting addition to the UAE’s vibrant and thriving artistic scene.

The unveiling follows months of painstaking work by artists and innovators, which included 40 hours of digital scanning of the original 16th-century marble artwork in Florence; the creation of a three-dimensional digital model with a resolution of 146 thousandths of a millimetre; production by one of the world’s largest 3D printers; and hours of finishing touches by hand.

It was revealed at a ceremony to mark the completion of the exterior of the Italy Pavilion, attended by Luigi Di Maio, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation as well as His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Cabinet Member, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai; Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai; Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth; and Her Excellency Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; as well as Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence; and Paolo Glisenti, Commissioner General of Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy , Director General’s Office (DGO),meets Ambassador of Mali. Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Mohammad Shahrooei/Expo 2020 Dubai)

Luigi Di Maio said: “Italy and the UAE have long enjoyed a close relationship, based on the solid foundations of shared visions and interests, including innovation and culture. As the hosts of the most recent World Expo in Milan, in 2015, Italy recognises the significance of Expo 2020 as an important opportunity for cultural exchange, knowledge sharing and the formation of new and fruitful connections. We look forward to welcoming the world to the Italy Pavilion later this year, to enjoy an unprecedented journey through our country’s extraordinary past, present and future.”

The David replica will be a highlight among the many rich and diverse cultural experiences that Expo 2020 and its 190-plus participating countries will showcase during the six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation and ingenuity.

Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi said: “The original David has captivated the world for centuries and is an iconic symbol of the Renaissance, and of Italian culture, heritage and artisanship more widely. As the region’s hub for arts and culture and with its own vibrant and dynamic artistic scene, the UAE is excited to welcome this most accurate and sophisticated replica of the masterpiece ever created and share it with millions of visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai.”

Her Excellency Hala Badri said: “We take great pride in helping promote a cultural and creative environment by enhancing a thriving sustainable ecosystem that will support Dubai’s economic growth and its stature as a major arts and culture hub. Encouraging an ecosystem of creative talent helps integrate art and creativity within Dubai’s landscape and makes it accessible for everyone everywhere, thereby enhancing Dubai’s positon on the global cultural map.”

“The cutting-edge digital and visual technology used to create the David artwork, combined with the demanding work undertaken by the team of highly skilled restorers, perfectly illustrates how history and technology can seamlessly merge to create something truly beautiful. Such innovations align with the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy that seeks to expand upon the emirate’s global creative influence by attracting talent from all over the world to establish themselves in Dubai as well as through mechanisms, strategies, legislative frameworks, regulations and policies to ensure the ease of doing business in the creative field.”

During the ceremony, attended by Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence and Paolo Glisenti, Commissioner General of Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai, the Italy Pavilion’s three overturned hulls that form the country’s tricolour flag were also revealed.

Based on the theme ‘Beauty connects people’, the Italy Pavilion is located in Expo’s Opportunity District. From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, it will invite visitors from across the world to discover an engaging story that touches upon the nation’s achievements in diverse fields including art, technology, engineering and sustainability.

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