Golden Statue of David – Louisville, Kentucky - Atlas Obscura
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Golden Statue of David

The Midwestern United States' tribute to Michelangelo is a foam statue sprayed with gaudy gold paint. 


Visitors to Louisville’s attractive downtown will almost certainly catch a glimpse of two interesting sculptures. It’s hard to miss the 120-foot-tall baseball bat that welcomes visitors to the city’s famous Louisville Slugger factory, but a few more steps along Main Street sits perhaps an even more striking exhibit.

At 30 feet tall, Louisville’s David is almost twice the size of Michelangelo’s original masterpiece in Florence. Instead of Italian marble, this version is made of foam, sprayed gold to give it an even more striking appearance. But what, exactly, is it doing here?

This particular David is owned by the 21c Museum Hotel chain, outside whose headquarters he lives. Turkish artist Serkan Özkaya is responsible for his (re)creation. Originally a project for the Istanbul Biennial art exhibition, David unfortunately collapsed under his own weight. Özkaya salvaged and restored the statue and created two more casts, one of which was acquired by 21c Museum Hotels.

After being displayed briefly in New York, David was brought to his permanent home in Louisville, an interesting addition to the cityscape, even if perhaps not the most tasteful.

Know Before You Go

Right at the street corner of N 17th St. and 31 W on pedestrian sidewalk.

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