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.
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."
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.