Statue of David’s 3D twin stands tall at Expo 2020


Journalism student Sara Hameed reports on the Italian pavilion at EXPO 2020.

By Sara Hameed

SHARJAH – Michelangelo’s David’s 3D-printed twin stands 17 feet tall in the Theatre of Memory at the Expo 2020’s Italy pavilion.

According to the pavilion’s website, three lookout points surrounding the statue aid in exhibiting the “intense look” in David’s eyes, as Michelangelo had envisioned.

Nicola Salvioli, an expert in sculpture restoration, worked with his team for two months to seal the cast in a mixture of resin and Carrara marble powder, to give the replica David’s classic “skin” appearance.

Moreover, Sicis gold and Murano glass tesserae constitute the mosaics lining the theatre. These mosaics, which were handmade in Ravenna, draw inspiration from the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and the Palatine Chapel in Palermo.

Crushed coffee beans and dried orange peels coat the suspended walkways over an area of approximately 150 square meters. Algal cultivation also takes place in the water installations, contributing to air purification, and the production of natural fertilizers for the greenery inside the pavilion.

The walls of the Belvedere are made of dry cleft stones using traditional Italian building techniques. Its dome is decorated with Mediterranean herbs, namely rosemary, capers, thyme, and fern.