Innovation and artistic heritage: Hexagon is Italy’s sponsor at Expo 2020 Dubai with the digitalization of the David by Michelangelo

21 January 2021
Michelangelo's David sculpture being scanned by a man on a scaffold platorm with a 3D laser scanner

Thanks to innovative sophisticated digitalization techniques, Italy will bring a perfect copy of Michelangelo’s David to Expo 2020 Dubai.

Hexagon Italia’s Commercial Division, after signing a sponsorship agreement with the General Commissioner for Italy’s Participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, was selected by the University of Florence for Phase 1 of the project to make a life-size reproduction of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s masterpiece.

Experts at Hexagon Italia are performing scans to make the so-called “digital twin” of the statue, which will subsequently be used to produce a very high-definition and highly accurate physical copy. The digitalization is performed with two different instruments: the Leica Absolute Tracker AT960 laser tracker and the structured light StereoScan Neo scanner.

The original statue of the David, one of the most important sculptural masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance, is hosted at the Galleria dell’Accademia of Florence, which now leads the sophisticated reproduction project under the aegis of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism and of the Italian Commissioner’s Office for Expo 2020 Dubai.
Under the scientific curatorship of the University of Florence, the value of the project will acquire visibility across its different phases: from the digital data acquisition phase to the milling of the plastic material that will shape it, all of which, in the upcoming months, will engage scientists, technicians, curators, craftsmen, as well as university professors and students.

The physical copy made out of the data collected will be aesthetically finished by master restorers and ultimately transported to Dubai to be placed inside the Theatre of Memory in the Italy Pavilion at the Expo that is scheduled to open on the 1st of October.

“Hexagon Italia – which was selected for this project thanks to the skills of its technical experts and the characteristics of the instruments used, which are capable of both assuring precision in scanning such a large object and seamless high definition in the details – is proud and honoured to have been selected for this important project which not only has great significance in terms of technology and image but is also due to spark new ideas to use technologies commonly implemented in industrial applications also in the protection of cultural assets and in scientific research, thus contributing to the dissemination and study of our Country’s artistic heritage,” stated Cesare Cassani, Manager of Automation Technologies & Portable Systems at Hexagon Italia’s Commercial Division.

Read the official press release here (pdf)

Related links

https://italyexpo2020.it/en/memory-and-future-michelangelos-david-at-expo-2020-dubai/
https://italyexpo2020.it/en/press-releases/#
https://www.facebook.com/ItalyExpo2020/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/italyexpo2020/
https://www.instagram.com/italyexpo2020/

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