Though some residents of Okuizumo want the giant statue of David to sport some underwear, the mayor says the naked artwork is a "great educational opportunity" for children.
That's what some residents of a Japanese town are calling for after seeing a 16-foot-tall replica of David, Michelangelo's naked masterpiece, displayed in his full glory in a public park, AFP reports.
The David and a huge replica of the ancient Greek treasure the Venus de Milo were erected last summer at the park in the mountainside town of Okuizumo in western Shimane prefecture, courtesy of a local businessman's donations.
The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported that some residents in the town of about 15,000 have asked for underwear for David — for modesty's sake, AFP said.
"They are statues of unclothed humans, and such pieces of art work are very rare in our area. Some people apparently said the statues might not be good for their children," town official Yoji Morinaga told AFP.
The statues' size and their unexpected appearance may be contributing to toddlers' fear of the sculptures, he said.
"It is the first time we have had anything like this in our town. Perhaps people were perplexed," Morinaga said.
Mayor Katsuhiro Inoue issued a statement to his townspeople defending the giant statues, which were sculpted by Italian artist Enzo Pasquini. He argued that the statues are "a great educational opportunity for children to see first class art up close," Italy's Gazzetta del Sud newspaper reported.
The original David, created by Michelangelo in the early 1500s, is housed in the Accademia di Belle Arti, in Florence, Italy. The Venus de Milo, believed to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch and created sometime between 130 B.C. and 100 B.C., is on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.