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michelangelo's david gets his private parts covered up at expo 2020 dubai

DAVID censorship stirs controversy at expo 2020 dubai

 

the nether regions of michelangelo’s david are making headlines following the inauguration of the italian pavilion at expo 2020 dubai. the famous marble sculpture, which was completed in 1504, has been meticulously recreated using 3D printing and put on display inside the pavilion. michelangelo’s david 3D twin brother takes center stage inside ‘the theatre of memory’, an octagonal space with three lookout levels from which to admire the work from different perspectives. though it is finally possible to look at david in the eyes, the set-up omits a certain body part from eyesight – his penis.

michelangelo's david gets his private parts covered up at expo 2020 dubaiimages © massimo sestini for italy expo 2020 unless stated otherwise

 

MICHELANGELO’S DAVID 3D TWIN BROTHER IN DUBAI

 

in florence’s accademia gallery, visitors marvel at the real david from his feet, getting a full view of the heroic male nude in all his glory. in dubai, however, visitors to the italy pavilion at the long-awaited world expo will enjoy an altogether different view. this is because the almost seven meter tall replica is contained within a two story octagonal gallery, with a stone slab floor covering up david’s buttocks and genitals. 

 

from the upper floor of the pavilion, visitors come face to face with the statue, seeing only his head and shoulders. the rest of the body can only be seen from the ground floor, which is reportedly only open to authorities and officials.

michelangelo's david gets his private parts covered up at expo 2020 dubaiimage via italy expo 2020, twitter

 

there has been criticism of the cover up, such as this tweet from italian art critic vittorio sgarbi:‘italy obscures michelangelo’s david in dubai in deference to islamic tradition: an unprecedented, unacceptable, intolerable humiliation.’

 

artistic director of the italian pavilion, davide rampello, denied any censorship and explained that the ‘beheading’ is in fact due to the conceptual approach of the exhibit, which places the statue as an actor in the pavilion’s ‘theatre of memory’.

michelangelo's david gets his private parts covered up at expo 2020 dubai
michelangelo’s david 3D twin brother inside ‘the theatre of memory’

 

although not officially stated by rampello, it’s widely accepted that there were concerns for dubai audiences. a source who worked on the project told italian newspaper la repubblica, ‘we even thought of putting on underwear, of changing the statue, but it was too late: we realized late that it was a mistake to bring a statue of a naked man to the emirates.’

 

if you’re that outraged — or just keen to see one of the world’s most famous nude sculptures — you can always find the real david, in his birthday suit, in florence.

michelangelo's david gets his private parts covered up at expo 2020 dubai
close up of the 3D-printed replica

michelangelo-david-private-parts-covered-expo-2020-dubai-designboom-large

michelangelo's david gets his private parts covered up at expo 2020 dubai
italy pavilion’s art director, davide rampello

michelangelo's david gets his private parts covered up at expo 2020 dubai
the replica is encased in an enchanting golden veil

michelangelo's david gets his private parts covered up at expo 2020 dubai
diplomats and VIPs have access to the pavilion’s lower floor

 

 

project info:

 

name: michelangelo’s david digital twin

event: expo 2020 dubai | italy pavilion

event dates: october 1, 2021 – march 31, 2022

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