A replica of Michelangelo’s Renaissance sculpture “David” that was erected suddenly last summer in a Shimane Prefecture town is unnerving residents, with some calling for the naked masterpiece to be given underpants.
The town of Okuizumo received 5-meter-tall replicas of “David” and the “Venus de Milo” as donations from a businessman who hails from the area.
The statues were erected in a large public park that includes a full-size running track, a baseball stadium, tennis courts, a mountain bike course and a playground for children.
“Some people have told the town’s assembly members that toddlers are afraid of the statues because they are so big and they appeared unexpectedly over the summer,” town official Yoji Morinaga said, adding that some residents are troubled by statues of unclothed humans. “Some people apparently said the statues might not be good for their children” to view, he said.
While many locals have welcomed the cultural additions to the mountain town of fewer than 15,000 people, some have asked that “David” wear underwear to “preserve his modesty,” according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.
“It is the first time we have had anything like this in our town. Perhaps people were perplexed,” Morinaga said.
The town believes residents will come to appreciate the sculptures over time, and that they will be useful in school art classes, he said.