Italian mayor defends Florida principal forced out over ‘David’ statue

The mayor of Florence, Italy, on Saturday defended a Florida charter school principal who was pressured to resign after a parent complained students were exposed to pornography during a Renaissance art lesson that featured Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture. 

“A Florida teacher was forced to quit for showing students photos of Michelangelo’s David. Mistaking art for pornography is just ridiculous,” said Florence mayor Dario Nardella in a tweet.

The famed 16th century marble statue, which depicts the biblical figure David in the nude, is housed in La Galleria dell’Accademia, an art museum in Florence. 

Tallahassee Classical School principal Hope Carrasquilla resigned after the school board reportedly told her to step down or be fired. One parent had complained that the material shown to the sixth-grade art class was pornographic, and two others said they wanted to be notified of the lesson beforehand.

“I will personally invite the teacher to Florence to give her recognition on behalf of the city. Art is civilization and whoever teaches it deserves respect,” Nardella added.

Carrasquilla told the Associated Press that she is “very honored” by the invitation to Italy.

The Florence museum housing the statue has also invited parents and students from the charter school to visit amid shock among Italians over the U.S. controversy. 

“To think that David could be pornographic means truly not understanding the contents of the Bible, not understanding Western culture and not understanding Renaissance art,” said Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Galleria dell’Accademia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Tags Florida Italy

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