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Marymount - International School Rome

Florence mayor defends US principal ousted over David statue controversy

Florida parents invited to Florence to view David after 'pornographic' complaints.

Florence mayor Dario Nardella has defended a Florida school principal who was forced to resign following parental complaints that children were exposed to pornography after being shown Michelangelo’s iconic David statue.

"Mistaking art for pornography is simply ridiculous", Nardella wrote on Twitter, adding: "I will personally invite the teacher to Florence to give her a recognition on behalf of the city. Art is civilisation and whoever teaches it deserves respect."

Separately, the director of the Florence museum that hosts Michelangelo's David has invited parents and students from the Florida school to view the "purity" of the marble masterpiece in person.

Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Galleria dell’Accademia told the Associated Press (AP) in a phone interview on Sunday that she was astonished at the 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,” she said.

The incident occurred at Tallahassee Classical School following a Renaissance art lesson which included images of the David statue as well as Michelangelo's Birth of Adam and Botticelli's Birth of Venus.

Several parents complained, with one claiming the students in sixth grade were shown pornographic material, and others saying they should have been informed in advance about the nature of the lesson, as per school procedure.

The former principal Hope Carrasaquilla, who was given the ultimation by the school board to either resign or be fired, told AP that she was “very honoured” by the invitations to Italy and she may accept.

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