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Jerusalem Says No to David Statue Because He’s Nude

July 21, 1995

JERUSALEM (AP) _ Jerusalem has turned down a gift of a replica of Michelangelo’s statue of David because the nude figure would offend the city’s Orthodox Jews and Arabs.

The offer from Florence, Italy, where the original work is displayed, was made in honor of celebrations of 3,000 years of Jerusalem’s history, the Yediot Aharonot daily reported Friday.

The statue depicts the young David, slingshot over his shoulder, after killing Goliath.

The report said Jerusalem originally accepted the gift, a full-size copy of the marble statue of the Israelite king, standing at 13 1/2 feet and valued at $700,000. But appeals from Arab and ultra-Orthodox representatives led the city to turn it down, said David Cassuto, deputy mayor in charge of culture.

Instead, Florence will give Jerusalem a copy of a bronze statue of David by the 15th century artist Andrea del Verrocchio, the newspaper said. Although not as famous as Michelangelo’s masterpiece, it has one advantage _ this David is clothed.

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