The Italian government has announced a new project that features an earthquake-proof base for Michelangelo’s famous statue of David.
Located in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, David stands nearly 17 feet high and is currently mounted on a 6-ft tall base. The new earthquake-proof base, part of a project expected to cost over $248,000, will further reinforce the masterpiece, which already has weak angles due to “micro-fractures” caused by deterioration over time.
David is one of Italy's most popular tourist attractions and considered a national treasure.
According the Daily Mail, an estimated 250 earthquakes measuring up to 4.1 on the Richter scale have hit the Tuscan region in the past few years, forcing building evacuations and school closures.
“The earthquake in Florence fortunately did not damage the government’s cultural assets,” Dario Franceschini, cultural minister, said as he announced funding plans for the project.
“But it has made the need to approve this project even more urgent. A masterpiece like David must not be left to any risk.”
Exact plans for the base have not been revealed but it is slated to be completed next year. The Tuscan tourism board estimates that travel to the region will increase throughout 2015.