Michelangelo's famous statue of David could collapse because of its exposure to mass tourism, Italian experts say.
They say the massive statue of the naked boy-warrior is in danger because of its size, shape and the weakness of the marble from which it was carved.
But they warn that the greatest risk comes from the footfall of many visitors who troop past it each day at Florence's Galleria dell'Accademia.
The experts want to protect the statue by insulating it from the vibrations.
This would cost about 1m euros (£785,000). Otherwise David could topple over, engineers from the University of Perugia say.
The warning follows a detailed study of the statue which showed that the cracks filled
during major restoration works four years ago - on the occasion of its 500th anniversary - have already reopened.
That restoration was itself controversial because it involved using distilled water to clean the statue - which critics argued could damage it.
Michelangelo's David has had iconic status almost since its completion at the height of the Renaissance.
At the time it was seen as a powerful symbol of Florence's republican political ideals: David being the youthful warrior who felled the mighty Goliath in the Biblical Old Testament story.
Since then it has enjoyed mixed fortunes: attacked by crowds when it was first displayed, then hacked by a deranged painter in 1991.
The statue has also acquired kitsch status - its copies adorn everything from casinos in Las Vegas to tacky Mediterranean beach bars.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Under pressure from viewers Michalangelos David is Cracking:
In a single day the news brougt up Michalangelos David, the first was about fears that the historic statue in Florence was cracking from the vibrations of the viewers walking around it.
The second was the concept of the "David Effect" (another explaination of that term here) about famed Harry Potter actor Danial Radcliffe enbaresment at first preforming nude.
"Daniel Radcliffe was so nervous about getting naked on stage -- his penis shrank when he first stripped off in Equus.
He might have been refuring to a Gaurdian article:
The real David's problume is more serious