Michelangelo’s masterpiece – David gets spa treatment

June 04, 2024

Every 2 months, the famous work of art undergoes a careful cleaning at its home in Florence’s Accademia Gallery, where it has resided for over 150 years.

The  Accademia Gallery is closed on Mondays. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on at the museum when its doors are closed to the public, we’re here to share a little bit of what does occur.

As you might imagine, anything that needs to occur when there are no crowds are reserved for these days. This past Monday, new Accademia Gallery director Cecilie Hollberg offered the chance to glimpse an extremely rare view of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David, as restorers armed with vacuum cleaners and soft brushes dusted the marble statue.


The operation is considered routine maintenance for the famous work of art. Just like normal housecleaning, the museum uses Mondays as a day to dust and check up on their works.  David, in particular, is dusted every 2-3 months on average, while during the busiest months, it is dusted and checked about every 4-5 weeks. The  Accademia welcomes over 1.4 millions visitors a year, many interested in seeing  David in particular.

A limited group of reporters were granted exclusive access this Monday to the scaffolding used by the restorers’ to see the marble statue up close.


Climbing the two-story, mobile scaffolding (to move around the entire statue easily in one day), you realize how imposing the 14-foot-tall statue actually is. The first level gets you roughly to  David’s waist – and the view is absolutely breathtaking.


As you reach the top of the 20-foot-high scaffolding, you get the rare privilege of looking straight into David’s eyes. And realize he most definitely is frowning in concentration, and that he has a leather strong around his forehead.

The routine maintenance is funded by the U.S. non-profit organization, Friends of Florence, who have supported the museum since 2003, when  David underwent a major restoration in preparation for his 500th birthday. This past Monday, another full year of support was pledged by Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, president of the non-profit, to the museum. Funding also supports maintenance on Michelangelo’s PrisonersSt. Matthew, the  Pietà of Palestrina, the 22  paintings in the Tribune that surround  David and the clay model of the Rape of the Sabines by Giambologna found in the Hall of the Colossus.

According to Hollberg, regular dusting allows restorers to keep a watchful eye on the marble sculpture.

“David is in good health,” Hollberg said.


Source: accademia.org

Review : 4.7/2
Thank you for your review 😘