David Replica’s censorship of manhood sparks controversy in Dubai – SURFACE
Perched nude and contrapposto at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, Michelangelo David is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai now have the chance to see a 3D printed reproduction of the chiseled marble statue, but only from the shoulders up. The replica stands 23 feet tall in the two-story octagonal gallery of the Italian pavilion, but only diplomats and VIPs will have exclusive access to the lower level of the pavilion and stunning views of Davidlanding gear.
Italian media decry the decision. “When the statue was discovered and seen by the Emiratis, there was enormous embarrassment,” an anonymous Italian source said. The Republic. “We even considered putting her underwear on or changing the statue, but it was too late.” Art critic Vittorio Sgarbi describes it as “an unprecedented, unacceptable and intolerable humiliation” made out of “deference to Islamic tradition”. While it was not stated up front, it is believed that art director Davide Rampello had concerns about the heroic male nude showcasing in front of conservative Emiratis.
Rampello has denied the censorship allegations. According to him, the decision was purely functional: to allow visitors to see David from eye level, a very different and more personal perspective than what tourists usually enjoy in Florence. An Emirati tour guide, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to care: “We see nudity as something that shouldn’t be displayed but in practice, when it comes to art, I have it. impression that people are open to it.
The censored David will be on display in the Italian pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai until March 31, 2022.