On Sunday morning, the replica of Michelangelo’s David at Forest Lawn-Glendale fell over and shattered into several pieces. It’s unclear what caused the fall. There was no one near the statue at the time.
Forest Lawn Memorial Park is one of the most beautiful cemeteries you can visit, in part due to its art. It also contains the free Forest Lawn Museum, which features rotating exhibits and a collection of stained glass, paintings, and other artifacts. According to museum director James Fishburne, the museum plans to commission a new David replica via its long-standing relationships with various Italian sculpture studios. The new statue will be made from Carrara marble, just like its predecessor.
The museum acquired its first Michelangelo replica in 1926. That particular Moses figure is still on display, along with Pietà, Madonna of Bruges, Night, Day, Dawn, and Dusk. Each one is a full-scale marble replica, just like David was. You can find them all in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn-Glendale. A full-scale bronze David replica remains on view at Forest Lawn-Cypress.
This is not the first time Forest Lawn has had to replace its David. It previously acquired a David replica in 1937, but it fell over during an earthquake in 1971. The museum still has its head and right foot on display. That David was replaced with yet another replica in 1972, but it toppled and broke during the Northridge quake in 1994. The museum then replaced that replica with the one that fell on Sunday (though it was actually sculpted earlier in 1987).
For now, the museum has moved David’s shattered remains to its bronze and marble storage yard in Glendale. Fishburne says several artists have contacted the museum about using the pieces in their own works. The museum expects to make a decision in a few weeks. Fishburne says they “would like the fragments to be put to good use.”