Conservators warn that Michelangelo’s David may be at risk of collapse due to micro-fractures found in the figure’s legs and ankles. Vibrations from local vehicular traffic as well as tens of thousands of tourist footsteps have likely caused, or at least exacerbated, the tiny cracks, raising questions about whether David can remain in the Accademia in central Florence since much of the sculpture’s 5.5 tons rests on David’s left leg and adjacent tree stump.

Florentine officials, however, have reassured the public that Michelangelo’s masterpiece is safe, despite the hairline fractures in David’s ankles. Marco Ferri of the Polo Museale Fiorentino says, “Even if there is an earthquake of 5.0 or 5.5 on the Richter scale, Florence will stay in one piece. And David would be the last to fall.”

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