Italian government up in arms over Michelangelo's David rifle advert
The Italian culture minister said the US weapons firm's use of the image of David is illegal
He is one of Italy’s Renaissance greats – a painter sculptor, architect and poet and, according to one US weapons firm, a gun proponent.
The Italian culture minister has expressed anger over an advertisement from Illinois-based ArmaLite that depicts Michelangelo’s David holding a rifle, the BBC reported.
Dario Franceschini said the image was offensive and violated the law.
A number of Italian media websites carried an image of the advertisement, in which David is seen carrying a $3,000 bolt-action rifle, alongside the slogan “a work of art”.
Mr Franceschini called for the company to withdraw the advertisement for the AR-50A1.
He said in a tweet: "The image of David, armed, offends and infringes the law. We will take action against the American company so that it immediately withdraws its campaign."
Historical Heritage and Fine Arts Board curator Cristina Acidini has issued a legal notice to ArmaLite to withdraw the image, saying it misrepresents the artwork.
The government says it has copyright on the commercial use of images of David.
Angelo Tartuferi, director of Florence's Accademia Gallery, where the statue is on display, told Repubblica newspaper: "The law says that the aesthetic value of the work cannot be distorted.
"In this case, not only is the choice in bad taste but also completely illegal."
The marble statue of the Biblical figure was created between 1501 and 1504. It was originally commissioned as one of a series of statues to be placed along the roofline of Florence Cathedral, but was instead placed outside the Palazzo Vecchio.
David was moved to the Accademia Gallery in Florence in 1873, and a replica was later placed at the original location.
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...