The first pictures of the Italian pavilion’s dazzling Michelangelo statue

The statue, a replica of the masterpiece at the Academy Gallery in Florence, will be the striking centrepiece of Italy’s pavilion when Expo opens later this year.

It was created through a sophisticated digitising process that involved scanning the statue to create a three-dimensional digital twin.

Engineers in Florence used high-tech cameras and mounted laser scanners on stairs to capture microscopic details of the 16th-century marble statue.

The next stage involved 3D printing of the figure, in 14 pieces, before it was assembled by a team of restorers at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence — considered to be one of the world’s most important institutes for the conservation and restoration of art.

Their work includes adding the cracks, fractures and abrasions to give it the same character as the original statue.