Michelangelo’s David, Finally As It Was Always Meant To Be Seen

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“I saw an angel in the block of marble and I just chiseled ’til I set him free.”

Michelangelo’s statue of David may have been set free, but it never arrived at the home intended for him–until now.

Late last week, for only one special day, an 800-pound fiberglass reproduction of Michelangelo’s David was unveiled standing on a pedestal high up by Florence Cathedral’s dome, the destination first envisioned for it. The statue of David, honored for its portrayal of male beauty, was originally commissioned in 1501  to stand along the roof line of the east end of the  Florence Cathedral along with a series of other statutes. (Read more in Marble in Motion.)

But instead the Renaissance sculpture, representing the biblical hero David, was placed in a public square outside the Piazza della Signoria, the seat of civic government in Florence,  in 1504.  After a harsh dispute over location, Michelangelo’s famous statue was moved to a specially designed room in the Galleria dell’Accademia, in 1873. “During this weekend, we will recall the 16th-century debate. The fiberglass statue of David will appear in all the places mentioned in the dispute,” said art historian Sergio Risaliti, the man who conceived the one-day installation. (Check out TIMES Top 10 Art Accidents.)

The spectacular event, titled “David, the Power of Beauty” coincided with “Florence 2010: The International Week of Cultural and Environmental Heritage.”