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Michelangelo’s David and other artworks

31 May, 2015

Michelangelo’s David and other artworks

Although I’ve lived in Europe for many years, there are places I only know from books or films and this journey isn’t planned for me to do only that. Traveling in Europe is expensive and from the 10th of June onwards, the visas for Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan begin to expire and I want to pass through Mongolia as well.

I also have other “problems” (and I wish all my problems were similar to this one); one visa delayed my departure by 10 days and Siberia gets very cold in the winter. I have until the 30th of October to reach Vladivostok, in the extreme East of Russia, feeling a bit of a chill in the process while getting there. Hence why I have the need to go through some countries with more of a rush than others. I want to enjoy the most of being in places that are more difficult to get to than others, whether it is because of the season or paperwork. I also want to have some days to spare just in case.

This first week I’ve been getting used to the pace of the journey, the riding of the loaded bike as well as making sure I can make photographs through the journey.

Many of the places I wanted to visit in the South of France and North of Italy are massive tourist spots. In the past 7 days I’ve been to Arles, Pisa and Florence; wonderful cities, with much history, art and, of course, many tourists with selfie sticks. The immigrants on the streets follow the popularity of the selfie stick trend today, selling almost exclusively that item.

From everything I’ve seen this week, the most special moment I had was at the Accademia Gallery in Florence, when I saw Michelangelo’s David. It’s happened to me some times before that when I see an object or artwork that has been photographed and filmed ad infinitum, the element of awe and surprise is stripped from it and I get a little disappointed. In this case, no image I had ever seen before took away the pleasure of observing something so unique and marvelous, despite it being surrounded by a crowd of tourists trying to take selfies next to it (no sticks, though, they are forbidden inside the gallery)

At the exit of the gallery there is a photograph by artist Thomas Struth. It shows people looking at Michelangelo’s David; observing, enjoying the artwork through their eyes and not through a screen.

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