Saturday, March 5, 2011

Michelangelo's David 'could collapse due to high-speed train building' - Telegraph

Michelangelo's David 'could collapse due to high-speed train building' - Telegraph
Michelangelo’s statue of David is at risk of being toppled by the construction of a high-speed railway line beneath Florence because of his flimsy ankles.

The statue is riddled with tiny cracks, particularly in the ankles of the boy warrior, and could collapse as a result of vibrations from the 1.4 billion euro project, which is due to start in the summer.

The threat of serious damage being done to one of the world’s most famous statues has prompted calls for it to be moved to a purpose-built museum away from the construction work.

“The tunnel will pass about 600 meters (2,000ft) from the statue of David, the ankles of which, it is well known, are riddled with micro-fissures. If it’s not moved before digging begins, there is a serious risk that it will collapse,” said Fernando De Simone, an expert in underground engineering.

The cracks in the marble are mostly in David’s left ankle and in the carved tree stump which bears part of the statue’s weight.

They are thought to have developed because for more than a century the statue leant at an angle, and because the marble used in the statue was not of a high standard...