A 3D-printed replica of Michelangelo’s masterpiece sculpture David has been installed at Dubai’s Expo 2020.
The five-meter statue in the world fair’s Italy pavilion is due to open to visitors on October 1 2021.
Expo 2020 is posited as a draw for tourists and business from overseas, with organizers estimating 25 million attendees.
It was initially scheduled to open to the public in October 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic forced it to be postponed by a year.
Italy’s David replica was unveiled following months of work including 40 hours of digital scanning of the original 16th-century marble statue in Florence.
A three-dimensional computer rendering was created to replicate the work with an accuracy to the degree of 146 thousands of a millimiter.
The statue was then created using one of the world’s largest 3d printers before being hand-sculpted into its final form.
It was unveiled at a ceremony attended by Luigi Di Maio, Italian minister of foreign affairs and international affairs; mayor of Florence Dario Nardella; and UAE cabinet member Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan.
Also in attendance were Reem al-Hashimy, UAE minister of state for international cooperation; Noura al-Kaabi, UAE minister of culture and youth; Hala Badri, director general of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.
Other pavilions at the blockbuster fair include the Terra Pavilion, an homage to environmental sustainability; the US Pavilion showcasing the states’ pioneering space travel technology with a replica SpaceX rocket; and the Spain Pavilion constructed of recycled materials that pays homage to the country’s Arab heritage.
Expo 2020 will feature pavilions from more than 190 countries. It represents a $7 billion investment by the UAE to boost its economy, a large part of which is bolstered by tourism.