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The Renaissance sculptures in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria, including the replica of Michelangelo’s David, will soon have a shiny new neighbor: Jeff Koons’s Pluto and Proserpina (2010-13). The 11ft work in gold-colored stainless steel will stand in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s town hall and civic museum, from September 25 until December 28. Inside, Koons’s Gazing Ball (Barberini Faun) (2013), from his series of plaster casts of Greco-Roman sculptures, will be presented in the Hall of Lilies, where Donatello’s original bronze Judith and Holofernes (around 1457-64) is on permanent display.

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The Italian government is to spend €200,000 (£160,000) on a new plinth to support Michelangelo’s statue of David after hundreds of earth tremors shook Florence and the surrounding region in recent days.

Dario Franceschini, the culture minister, said funds would be provided to build an anti-seismic platform beneath the 14ft statue in the Accademia Gallery.

Florence and other cities in Tuscany have been hit by more than 200 minor tremors in the past few days, with the highest of 3.8 and 4 magnitude recorded in Chianti, the wine-growing region.

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The Getty’s “Rococo to Revolution: 18th-Century French Drawings from Los Angeles Collections” displays high points of the museum’s drawing collection alongside loans from private collectors. The surprise is how well the loans stand up. There are  privately owned drawings by Watteau (a counterproof of one of the first drawings the Getty bought, in 1982), Boucher, Fragonard, Greuze, and David. There are also sheets by artists lately rediscovered by scholars and collectors. On loan are an impressive Gabriel de Saint-Aubin and a famous François-André Vincent. His trois crayons Bust-Length Study of a Young Woman (1780) was one of the first drawings to be reproduced as a color engraving. In case you missed the memo, Vincent was David’s archrival, husband to Adélaïde Labille-Guiard. The Getty also has an important Vincent drawing, The Secret.

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Tuesday, 05 August 2014 11:43

Micro-Fractures Appear on Michelangelo’s David

The iconic statue of David by Michelangelo could crumble under the stress of its own weight because of "weak ankles" in the original construction of the masterpiece, warns  the National Research Council (CNR) and Geosciences Institute at the University of Florence.

Micro-fractures in its legs have appeared on the sculpture which weighs 5.5 tonnes and researchers in Florence have warned that it could collapse under its own weight. The ornamental tree stump carved behind David's right leg bears most of the statues weight and recent findings from the National Research Council show cracks.

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Michelangelo's famous statue of the biblical figure David is at risk of collapse due to the weakening of the artwork's legs and ankles, according to a report published this week by art experts.

The findings, which were made public by Italy's National Research Council, show micro-fractures in the ankle and leg areas.

The "David" statue dates from the early 16th century and is housed in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence. The results of the report were published this week in the Journal of Cultural Heritage, a publication devoted to research into the conservation of culturally significant works of art and buildings.

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