UNIT: Michelangelo's 'David' in danger of collapse

Upper-Intermediate. Gerund Upper-Intermediate. История/Культура

LEARN THE WORDS:

to collapse - развалиться to embark - начинать, вступать в дело
susceptible to smth - чувствительный to depict - изображать
to crumble распадаться to commission - назначать
marble - мрамор to unveil - представлять публике
to lean - опираться to insulate - изолировать

Michelangelo's masterpiece statue "David" is in great danger of collapsing due to its weak ankles and the structure's 5.5-ton weight. Scientists have confirmed cracks existing in the heels of the giant 5.17-metre-tall iconic statue make it susceptible to crumbling under its own weight. The cracks have become the statue's Achilles heel. Tests carried out by Italy's National Research Council and Florence University confirmed the existence of a whole series of "micro-fractures" that have weakened David's ankles. A number of factors have led to this weakening. These include the poor quality of marble and the fact that the statue has been leaning at an angle for centuries, and vibrations from traffic and museum visitors.

Creating the sculpture took 3 years- between 1501 and 1504.  Michelangelo was just 26 when he embarked on the project. The statue depicts the biblical hero who killed the giant Goliath. It was commissioned by the rulers of Florence as a symbol of the city's commercial and military strength. It was unveiled to the public on the 8th of September, 1504 and remained on display outside in the Piazza della Signoria for 350 years. It was moved indoors in 1873 to protect it from the elements. Art lovers have been calling for years for the statue to be relocated to the safety of a purpose-built, earthquake proof museum to insulate it from the vibrations from traffic and road construction.

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