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OFF BEAT: Temblors have Italian government quaking over 'David'

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The Italian government is doing some catastrophe risk modeling when it comes to one of the world’s most beloved works of art.

A recent series of damaging December earthquakes in the region around Florence, Italy, have officials scrambling to protect Michelangelo’s famed statue of David, according to media reports.

The BBC reports the Italian government plans to spend almost a quarter million dollars to construct a new quake-resistant plinth for the precious piece and hopes to have it in place within the year.

Last spring, Italian media reports said officials had found microcracks in the top-heavy statue’s ankles, leading to speculation that the masterpiece might be moved for its own protection. The recent temblors have intensified those concerns.

“A masterpiece like ‘David’ must not be left to any risk,” Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, told the BBC.

“David,” carved between 1501 and 1504, has stood in seismic Florence for more than 500 years.