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Florencia invites the parents of a Florida school who forced a dismissal for showing it in class to visit the 'David'


The mayor of the Italian city considers it "ridiculous" to confuse art and pornography, after the director of the Classical School was dismissed for teaching Michelangelo's work.

By Nicole Winfield and Terry Spencer -

The Associated Press

A museum in Florence invited parents and students of a Florida school this Sunday to visit the statue of


by the Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo (created between 1501 and 1504 in that Italian city), after the director of the center was forced to resign after complaints from families for having shown an image of the work to a sixth grade art class (between 11 and 12 years old).

The mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, extended the invitation through the social network Twitter to the director, describing it as "ridiculous" to confuse a masterpiece of art with pornography.

Political meeting in Florence in 2015 before the statue. Antonio Calanni / AP

Hope Carrasquilla was forced to resign last week as principal of the Tallahassee Classical School, which has a policy that requires parents to be notified in advance of any "controversial" topics taught in the classroom.

Carrasquilla believes that her departure was due to three parents complaining about the inclusion in a class of a photo of the 17-foot-tall statue that shows the biblical character after whom it is named going to fight Goliath.

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Carrasquilla has stated that two parents complained because they were not notified in advance that a nude would be shown, and another considered that the statue is pornographic.

Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Galleria dell'Accademia, where the artwork is housed, expressed her astonishment at the controversy.

"Thinking it could be pornographic means not understanding the content of the Bible, not understanding Western culture and not understanding Renaissance art," he said in a telephone interview.

Hollberg invited the principal, school board, parents, and students to see the "purity" of the statue.

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Tallahassee Classical, established three years ago, serves about 400 students from preschool to grade 12. It is publicly funded and free, but it operates almost completely independently of the school district.

It follows a curriculum designed by Hillsdale College, a conservative Michigan Christian school frequently consulted by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, on educational issues.

Barney Bishop, president of the Tallahassee Classical school board, told reporters that while the photo of the statue played a role in Carrasquilla's removal, it was not the only factor.

He declined to elaborate, but defended the removal: "Parents have a right to know at all times that their children are being shown a controversial image," he told Slate magazine.

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Last week, in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat, which was first to report the story, Carrasquilla said Bishop "expressed displeasure" when "parents became angry over policies or procedures that were not followed to the letter." .

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Marla Stone, director of the Department of Humanities at the American Academy of Rome, said it was another episode in the culture wars in the United States, and questioned why the statue could be considered so controversial as to warrant an advisory.

"What we see is a moral crusade against the body, sexuality and gender expression and an ignorance of history," Stone said in an email, "the incident is about fear, fear of beauty, fear of difference and the possibilities that art symbolizes".

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Michelangelo Buonarroti sculpted the statue commissioned by the Catholic Cathedral of Florence;

it attracts 1.7 million visitors a year to the museum in which it is displayed.

“It is incredibly admired by Americans, who want to take selfies and enjoy the beauty of this statue,” Hollberg said.

The museum, like many others in Europe, is free for students.

There is no indication that the city government or the museum will subsidize the invitation extended by Nardella.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-26

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