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.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Market Administrator (1st line Support, Trade Fl...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Data Support Analyst (Linux, Solaris, Windows Se...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Helpdesk Support Engineer (Windows, MS Office, E...