Pornography allegation: Principal fired over Michelangelo pictures

Pornography allegation: Principal fired over Michelangelo pictures

Dario Nardella, Mayor of since 2014 Florence, is making a lot of national and even international headlines these days. When environmental activists from the “Last Generation” spray-painted the facade of the Palazzo Vecchio orange on March 17 to protest against the Italian government’s climate policy, Nardella intervened boldly. The Social Democrat mayor, who happened to be nearby, grabbed one of the two activists, yanked him away from the wall of the iconic building, and yelled at him, “Stop that! What the hell are you doing?”

Matthias Rub

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

Nardella then took part in the washing-up work. Clearly upset he said: “They are barbarians! That’s not a way to protest.” Later, after footage of his intervention went viral on social media, Nardella apologized for yelling and assaulting the activist: “I acted on instinct. As a representative of the institutions, I should not have attacked the young man like that.”

In a recent excitement about the capital of Tuscany and its mayor, the focus is on Michelangelo’s world-famous sculpture of David, which can be admired in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence. Last week, Hope Carrasquilla, principal at Tallahassee Classical School in Florida, to resign from her post. In a sixth-grade art class on Renaissance art, she showed photographs of Michelangelo’s David, his ceiling fresco The Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, and Sandro Botticelli’s painting The Birth of Venus, which can be seen in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Parents complained about “pornography” in class

As a result, some parents complained to the Tallahassee school board that their children were treated with “pornography” at school and that they themselves were not informed about the subject matter in advance. After deliberations, the school board finally called on Headmistress Carrasquilla to resign in order to forestall her dismissal.

Nardella has now invited the ousted teacher from Florida to Florence “to express her appreciation on behalf of the city,” as the mayor wrote on Twitter. “Confusing art with pornography is just ridiculous,” Nardella tweeted. “Art is civilization and those who teach it deserve respect.”

Nardella’s invitation has been well received in Florida and across the United States. The director of the Galleria dell’Accademia, Cecilie Hollberg, was appalled by the forced resignation of the headmistress: “It’s absurd. Nudity is not the same as pornography.” For her part, Hollberg invited Classical School teachers and students from the Florida capital to the Tuscan capital to experience “Renaissance Art” in Florence, rather than in a functional classroom in Tallahassee through photos to be informed. “To believe that David is pornographic shows a complete misunderstanding of the content of the Bible, of Western culture, and of Renaissance art,” Hollberg said.

Victor Carrasquilla, the teacher’s husband, criticized the Tallahassee school board’s decision, saying his wife was “a strong evangelical Christian.” Tallahassee’s pornography scandal surrounding Michelangelo’s David may well trigger a brisk flow of visitors from Florida to Florence. And maybe even the headmistress will get her job back.

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