Scientists have found a new way to assess weak points in centuries-old statues and Michelangelo’s David in the Italian city of Florence is one of the first to benefit.
The new computer-based method - developed in the United States - relies on a three-dimensional scan of an object, which can be carried out with a laser. It calculates where points of weakness occur and how they will be affected by forces acting on them, such as gravity.
Work on Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpiece, which was carved between 1501 and 1504, has found weak regions in David’s right leg in particular. The Florentine authorities could now make pre-emptive repairs.
In the medical field, the technique could be used for scans on living bones in patients.
by Andy Moreton