David & the Fig Leaf
The earliest photographs of Michelangelo's statue of David, which until 1873 stood outside the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio, show the young biblical hero sporting a fig leaf. The fig leaf remained in place after the statue had been moved to the Galleria dell' Accademia; it was finally removed circa 1890.
When it was decided that the statue should be replaced by a copy, a debate raged as to whether it, too, should sport a fig leaf. It was argued that a garland of twenty-eight gilded copper leaves had originally protected the modesty of Michelangelo's own statue. However, it should be stated that this had not been the intention of the artist himself.
It was eventually decreed that nothing would be added to the copy, the work of the sculptor Luigi Arrighetti and his team.
On September 8th 1910, exactly 506 years since Michelangelo's David was unveiled, Arrighetti's copy was duly placed outside the Palazzo Vecchio, on the exact spot where the original work had once stood.