The David by Michelangelo is at the center of a school controversy, with Florida parents claiming the famous sculpture is pornography.
Earlier this month, the board of Tallahassee Classical School pressured their principal, Hope Carrasquilla, to resign after three parents registered complaints about a ‘pornographic’ lesson in a sixth-grade art class. The inappropriate image? A photo of the nude marble statue that is perhaps the most famous sculpture in the western world.
The David, as it is often known, is a masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, an iconic example of humanist artistic values. Michelangelo and his fellow humanists believed that study of the human form was the highest form of art.
Cecilie Hollberg is the director of Galleria dell’Accademia, the museum in Florence which houses the 17-foot-tall sculpture. When she heard about the controversy, she was stunned.
“I cannot believe that actually happened, at first I thought it was fake news, so improbable and absurd was it,” she said.
“A distinction must be made between nudity and pornography. There is nothing pornographic or aggressive about the David, he is a young boy, a shepherd, who even according to the Bible did not have ostentatious clothes but wanted to defend his people with what he had.”
Hollberg invited the TCS class to come to Florence and see the David in person.
Barney Bishop, chairman of the TCS school board, said that Principal Carrasquilla made an “egregious mistake” in showing the students images of classic art without giving their parents early warning and a chance to opt out, calling it a “controversial topic and picture.”
Carrasquilla is grateful that parents and teachers have been supportive in her forced resignation, but that she isn’t sure she wants to be reinstated.
“There’s been such controversy and such upheaval,” she said in an interview with the Associated Press. “I would really have to consider, ‘Is this truly what is best?'”
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