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Florence Mayor Invites Florida Teacher Fired Over Michelangelo's "Pornographic" David Statue

The teacher lost her job because she showed an image of Michelangelo's sculpture masterpiece, which one parent described as “pornographic." On April 29, she will visit Florence and see the work in person.

Photo of ​tourists visiting the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence to see the David of Michelangelo.

Some tourists visit the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence to see the David of Michelangelo.

La Stampa

FLORENCE — The former Florida art teacher who was forced to resign after parents complained about her showing images of Michelangelo's nude "David" statue will be welcomed by Florence's mayor on Saturday to counter "censorship (and) crusades."

Mayor Dario Nardella invited the former Florida Tallahassee Classical School teacher, Hope Carrasquilla, to visit the Palazzo Vecchio, which has been the seat of city politics in Florence since the Middle Ages. Though unconfirmed, the middle school teacher is also expected to pay a live visit the David, the iconic 17-foot-tall Renaissance statue, a few blocks away.

“To confuse art with pornography is ridiculous and also offensive," Nardella said. "Nudity is part of art. Kids do not need censorship or crusades, but serious education that explains what art history is and how important it is for the development of civilization."

Italian culture

Carrasquilla said she was forced to resign in March after three parents complained that their 11- and 12-year-old children were shown images of the David. The private school's governing body told the Washington Post that the issue was also that the parents were not notified ahead of time that the statue would be shown, as stipulated in the regulations.

Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, president of the American foundation Friends of Florence, said the teacher's visit would be an "opportunity to reflect together with her and the Florentine institutions so that the transfer of the values of Western civilization through Italian art and culture will always be possible and never hindered by ignorance."

Brandolini d’Adda noted that millions of American citizens travel to Italy each year to visit Renaissance masterpieces, send their children to study in Florence, Rome and other art cities. "If this happens, it is because most people and the American people understand the importance of Italian art and culture in the education of contemporary citizens,” she added.

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Shame On The García Márquez Heirs — Cashing In On The "Scraps" Of A Legend

A decision to publish a sketchy manuscript as a posthumous novel by the late Gabriel García Márquez would have horrified Colombia's Nobel laureate, given his painstaking devotion to the precision of the written word.

Photo of a window with a sticker of the face of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with butterfly notes at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Poster of Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Juan David Torres Duarte


BOGOTÁ — When a writer dies, there are several ways of administering the literary estate, depending on the ambitions of the heirs. One is to exercise a millimetric check on any use or edition of the author's works, in the manner of James Joyce's nephew, Stephen, who inherited his literary rights. He refused to let even academic papers quote from Joyce's landmark novel, Ulysses.

Or, you continue to publish the works, making small additions to their corpus, as with Italo Calvino, Samuel Beckett and Clarice Lispector, or none at all, which will probably happen with Milan Kundera and Cormac McCarthy.

Another way is to seek out every scrap of paper the author left and every little word that was jotted down — on a piece of cloth, say — and drip-feed them to publishers every two to three years with great pomp and publicity, to revive the writer's renown.

This has happened with the Argentine Julio Cortázar (who seems to have sold more books dead than alive), the French author Albert Camus (now with 200 volumes of personal and unfinished works) and with the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. The latter's posthumous oeuvre is so abundant I am starting to wonder if his heirs haven't hired a ghost writer — typing and smoking away in some bedsit in Barcelona — to churn out "newly discovered" works.

Which group, I wonder, will our late, great novelist Gabriel García Márquez fit into?

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