Life-size replica of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ reaches from Florence to the UAE for Expo 2020


Completing a whopping journey of 6000 kilometres, the world-renowned Michelangelo’s David’s replica sculpture came to the UAE from Florence on Tuesday.

The masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, Italian artist Michelangelo created the marble sculpture of the Biblical figure David, one of the most chosen subjects in the art of Florence.

The replica of which now stands tall in Florence and its digital imitation has been transported for the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020. One of the world’s most famous marble sculptures –the 3D copy of Michelangelo’s David, reached Dubai and will be fitted in the Italian pavilion at the Expo site.

Weighing a total of 450kg, the model was carried in large crates and the 150kg podium on which it will stand were transported in a cargo plane from Italy landing in Dubai. For smooth transportation, plastic-based blocks anchored the head, chest, hands and legs to secure the statue inside the crate.

Loads of precise planning and meticulous work by artists, it took months for the architects and tech experts to recreate a digital version of the Renaissance masterpiece that draws millions of visitors to the Academy Gallery in Florence in the present day.

The experts in charge of the transportation shared that it took 40 hours to scan the original in the museum. The scans took measurements of more than 100,000 points of the statue’s surface. These were then put together to produce a digital twin of David over three weeks of 3D printing. To scan the sculpture, laser scanners that are normally used in the industrial sector for the highest resolution were used. They were mounted on a tripod built customarily to photograph and measure each section of the gigantic statue.

Also, this was possible due to the shutdown of public spaces in Italy, as experts were able to spend two weeks in an empty museum without the interference of the crowd. Experts in charge climbed the frameworks and ladders to reach the highest portions of the statue and photograph all the details.

Expo 2020 –where the event aims to merge history with the technology of the future, visitors will enter at ground level where they can look up at the statue and also view it from the first-floor exhibition area.

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