3D Laser Scanning Services: Is The 3D David Statue Art Or Censorship?

Controversy Brews Over Replica On Exhibit In Dubai

The world fair is going on in Dubai, and one attraction is garnering plenty of attention. A large statue is making headlines, similar to its effect on onlookers 500 years ago. Italy has one of the most visited pavilions. Inside, visitors can see a three-dimensional replica of Michelangelo’s famous David statue. Thanks to 3D laser scanning services, David is exhibited at the world’s fair in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

There is a difference between the new David and Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece. It’s also causing some controversy. The 3D scanning services accurately captured every detail, but visitors to the Italian pavilion will only see the statue’s face. A select few can see the replicated statue in its entirety. So the controversy comes from only an elite few seeing David from the waist down. 

Italian experts using laser scanning spent 40 hours creating the replica from recycled plastics, marble dust, and resin. Like Michelangelo’s original, the 3D scanning service captured every anatomical detail. It is a towering statue, but visitors can only see a small portion of the masterpiece. For example, visitors can marvel at the flexing abdominal muscles if they lean over the railing. Otherwise, they only see the fierce and expressive face. 

The reasoning behind hiding the lower portion of David is not to create a hierarchy among visitors. Instead, it is a nod to the predominant culture in the Middle East. Nudity, even in art, is seldom displayed, even in a culturally diverse city like Dubai. The 3D scanning services may have rendered an exact copy of the original, but it does not mean it can be displayed for all visitors to see. 

Most visitors to the Italian pavilion agree the 3D scanning services created a replica virtually indistinguishable from the original. The only problem was how the statue was displayed. It does not allow the statue to get the attention it deserves.

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