(ANSA) - Milan, November 29 - Michelangelo's iconic statue of David will be the symbol of the Italian Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015 global trade convention, officials announced this week.
The copy of the David, an emblem of Florentine pride and one of the supreme achievements of the Italian Renaissance, will have "an emblematic value," Italian Pavilion chief Diana Bracco said, in Italy's efforts to "relaunch the country" at a world's fair focused on fighting hunger.
Bracco signed a deal with the regional government of Tuscany to have a copy made of the statue, which is housed at Florence's Accademia Gallery.
Michelangelo's interpretation of the biblical figure was unveiled in Piazza della Signoria in 1504, standing guard outside Palazzo Vecchio, seat of Florence's civic government.
It was moved to the Galleria dell'Accademia in the 19th century for conservation reasons.
The David was an emblem of the city republic's pride and its ability, despite its small size, to defend itself against much bigger rivals, as well as representing the Renaissance ideal of manhood.
Since then it has become one of the signatures of Italian cultural excellence.
Also this week, Premier Enrico Letta once more hailed the impact and significance of the keenly awaited event. The Expo will provide a "key global forum" to discuss such important issues as poverty and nutrition, Letta said.
Speaking via video to a forum hosted by Italian pasta manufacturer Barilla, Letta said that because the world's fair will have food security as its theme, it can also provide a context for discussions of the treatment of children and women in the world.
"(In 2015) Milan will be the capital of food and nutrition and for those six months of Expo, a window of opportunity will open on topics such as nutrition, poverty, childhood and women," said Letta.
He added that the Italian government is strongly committed to the success of the event.
Barilla has been developing what it calls the "Milan Protocol" which will commit signatory countries at Expo to work to reduce food waste by 50% by 2020, as well as promote sustainable agriculture and healthy lifestyles.
The plan is to reduce food waste that now equals more than one billion tonnes annually worldwide.
Barilla's initiative dovetails with the Expo's theme of dealing with global malnutrition and hunger, "Feeding the planet - Energy for life".
Libya on Tuesday became the 139th country to sign up for the fair.
"Expo Milan 2015 is one of the biggest economic events on a global level, able to start and reinforce economic and commercial relations among all countries", Libyan Economy Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abu Funas told Italian Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi. In another pre-Expo development, 30 million euros were earmarked for a major restyling of Milan's international Malpensa Airport, the main gateway to the fair.