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It houses outstanding Florentine artworks from the 13th to 16th centuries. This includes the 5-meter (17-foot) high statue of David by Michelangelo.
Michelangelo's David is the most admired sculpture in the world. It has the rare ability to awe both art experts and art loathers. Most visitors come to the Accademia Gallery primarily to view it.
It was finished almost exactly 500 years ago (1504) when long-lived Michelangelo was still in his 20s.
David was carved from a single mammoth-sized block of marble that other artists rejected. They knew the interior was riddled with imperfections, including hidden shatter-prone veins and pockets. Michelangelo took the challenge and succeeded, magnificently.
It stood outdoors for nearly four centuries in the Piazza della Signoria - and, as a result, airborne corrosive pollutants caused obvious damage. In 1873, mainly for conservation's sake, it was moved indoors to the Accademia Gallery. A relatively crude copy replaced it in the piazza.
Avoid the multi-hour long entrance line by booking a ticket reservation ahead of time (which you can do in Florence or on the Internet). Note: The museum is closed on Mondays.
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