An exact life-sized replica of Michelangelo’s legendary statue of David stands serenely in the quiet Japanese town of Okuizumo. This small town of 15,000 has become greatly concerned with propriety as the naked mythical figure from the Bible stands in stark contrast to this traditionally conservative culture. The citizenry declares the statue is frightening the children.
The statue is a full sixteen feet tall and is perched right next to a naked rendition of the Venus de Milo. Local authorities have stated that naked statues of humans are, indeed, a rarity in those parts. The statues were given to this park by a local businessman. The park also contains a baseball field, track, and children’s playground.
There has been a recent uproar and many citizens have petitioned the government about actually putting clothes on the naked slayer of Goliath. It seems that Japanese culture, and government decree, does not allow any form of frontal nudity in films or on video.
Full frontal nudity has always been a rather touchy subject. In 1857, England’s Queen Victoria was given a present of a full sized David statue. The Queen was so flabbergasted and outraged that she immediately ordered a fig leaf be made to cover up David’s “offending parts.” The statue now sits in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and has been returned to its full naked splendor.
And just in case you were curious, the fig leaf was saved. It now sits in its own special display case positioned behind the statue.