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Principal forced to resign over Michelangelo’s David visits sculpture

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Image source, Accademia Gallery

A US principal forced to resign after parents complained about an art lesson showing one of the world’s most famous sculptures has visited the masterpiece.

Hope Carrasquilla and her family went to see Michelangelo’s David on Friday at Florence’s Accademia Galleria.

They came at the invitation of museum director Cecilie Hollberg, who said that she was grateful for the visit.

Ms Carrasquilla said she was impressed by the gallery, saying: “I think it’s beautiful. It looks like a church.”


“The thing that impresses me the most is that this whole gallery was built for him,” she said in a statement provided to BBC News on Friday.

“There is nothing wrong with the human body in and of itself,” she continued.

“Michelangelo would have done him wrong to sculpt him in any other way. I think it’s wonderful.”

The educator was asked to resign from the Tallahassee Classical School in Florida last month after less than a year on the job.

Local media reported that Ms Carrasquilla did not know the reason she was asked to leave, but believed it was related to the complaints over the lesson.

The 5.17m (17ft) statue depicts an entirely naked David, the Biblical figure who kills the giant Goliath.

The art lesson, given to 11 and 12-year-old students, included an image of David and referenced Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” painting and Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” – both of which also contain nudity.

One parent complained the Renaissance era material was pornographic and others said they wanted to know about the lesson before it was taught.

The incident caused an international outcry and confusion in the classical art community.

Director Cecilie Hollberg (left) issued the invitation to visit the artwork

Image source, Accademia Gallery

Florida’s Department of Education was moved to issue a statement, declaring that the David statue has “artistic and historical value”.

Ms Hollberg, the museum director, said that she was “delighted to personally introduce” the educator to the sculpture.

“It is a masterpiece representing a religious symbol of purity and innocence, the triumph of good over evil.”

She added that more than half of the museum’s visitors come from the US.

The David was completed by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504. It was instantly hailed as a masterpiece, with Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari saying the David “surpassed” any statue that had ever existed before.

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