The tests suggest the 5,572-kg marble statue would break under its own weight if standing at an inclination higher of 15 degrees.
In such a scenario, the statue's pose and poor quality marble would contribute to the collapse.
Michelangelo carved David from a single block of marble that two other sculptors, Agostino di Duccio and Antonio Rossellino, discarded as it had an imperfection.
On Sept. 8, 1504, the towering sculpture, acclaimed for its depiction of male physical perfection, was displayed beside the main doorway of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence.
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Representing the biblical hero who killed Goliath, the sculpture marked a watershed in Renaissance art and established Michelangelo as the foremost sculptor of his time at the age of 29.
The statue remained in its original location, at the mercy of the elements, until 1873, when it was moved to its present location in the Galleria dell'Accademia.
According to the researchers, the micro fractures currently visible on David are the result of a long-lasting, small forward inclination of about 5 degrees during the statue's time in Piazza della Signoria between 1504 and 1873.