Parents invited to Italy after school principal resigns for showing statue of David

Michelangelo's David
Photo credit Getty Images

The Florence museum housing Michelangelo's masterpiece the "David" is inviting parents and students from a Florida charter school to visit.

The invitation comes after complaints about a lesson featuring the statue -- a 17-foot-tall nude marble sculpture carved by the Italian artist between 1501 and 1504 -- forced the principal at the school to resign.

Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Galleria dell'Accademia, where the sculpture resides, invited the school board, parents and student body to view the "purity" of the statue, the Associated Press reported.

"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," Hollberg told the AP.

Florence Mayor Dario Nardella also tweeted an invitation for the principal to visit so he can personally honor her. He said confusing art with pornography was "ridiculous."

"A Florida teacher was forced to quit for showing students photos of Michelangelo's David. Mistaking art for pornography is just ridiculous," Nardella said. "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."

The board of the Tallahassee Classical School pressured Principal Hope Carrasquilla to resign last week after an image of the "David" was shown to a sixth-grade art class. The school has a policy requiring parents to be notified in advance about "controversial" topics being taught.

School board chair Barney Bishop III reiterated to CNN that Carrasquilla was given the choice to resign or face termination. He stressed that the issue was purely for violating the school's policy and not because of the lesson material itself.

"She was not let go because of Michelangelo's 'David' lesson," Bishop told the network. "We aren't trying to ban the picture. We think it's beautiful, but we are going to make sure the concept of parental rights is supreme in Florida and at our charter school."

"We are going to make sure that parents specifically know what we are going to show their kids, what we are going to talk to their kids about and any keywords that might be a triggering event," he added.

Carrasquilla told the AP that three parents complained about the lesson; two because they weren't notified in advance that a nude would be shown, and a third who called the statue "pornographic."

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images