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Michelangelo’s David as It Was Meant to Be Seen

Standing on a pedestal high up by Florence Cathedral’s dome, a 400-kilogram (800-pound) fiberglass reproduction of Michelangelo’s David has shown today how the towering sculpture acclaimed for its depiction of male beauty would have looked in the destination first envisaged for it.

Commissioned in 1501 for Florence Cathedral, David was originally supposed to be placed along the roofline of the east end of the Cathedral together with a series of statues.

It never ended up there. On Sept. 8, 1504, after a harsh dispute over the best possible locations for David, the masterpiece was displayed beside the main doorway of the Piazza della Signoria. The sculpture remained there, at the mercy of the elements, until 1873 when it was moved to its present location in the Galleria dell’Accademia.

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