Florida principal who lost job over ‘pornographic’ David statue visits Italy | Florida
A Florida principal who resigned after parents at her school decried Michelangelo’s David statue as pornography has traveled to Florence, Italy, following invitations from the museum director and mayor of Florence.
Hope Carrasquilla, the former principal of Florida’s Tallahassee Classical school, touched down in Florence on Friday and visited the Accademia Gallery with her family where David’s statue resides.
Carrasquilla’s visit follows her resignation in March after parents at the Christian charter school complained over their children being shown the 16th century Renaissance statue of the biblical figure in class.
One of the school’s parents condemned the statue of David as “pornographic”. A parent also said that she “felt her child should not be viewing those pieces,” and said that she was “point-blank upset”, Carrasquilla told the Tallahassee Democrat at the time of the incident.
Carrasquilla told HuffPost that the school’s usual protocol is to notify parents by letter when students are to be shown “potentially controversial” classical artwork. However, as a result of a “series of miscommunications”, the letter was not sent out to the sixth-graders’ parents before they were shown the David sculpture.
Her resignation came after the campus’s governing board informed her to either step down or be fired.
Tallahassee Classical school is affiliated with Hillsdale College, a Michigan-based private conservative Christian institution. According to its website, the school aims to “train the minds and improve the hearts of young people through a content-rich classical education in the liberal arts and sciences, with instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue”.
After media reports emerged of Carrasquilla’s resignation, the mayor of Florence pushed back against the outcry towards Carrasquilla.
“Mistaking art for pornography is just ridiculous… I will personally invite the teacher to Florence to give her recognition on behalf of the city. Art is civilization and whoever teaches it deserves respect,” wrote mayor Dario Nardella.
Cecilie Hollberg, the director of Accademia Gallery, echoed similar sentiments, telling the Associated Press: “To think that David could be pornographic means truly not understanding the contents of the Bible, not understanding western culture and not understanding Renaissance art.”
Hollberg, who was photographed standing alongside Carrasquilla on Friday as they admired the statue, told USA Today that hosting the former principal was an “immense pleasure”.
“I am happy to be able to welcome her and introduce her to the beauties of our museum, besides showing her the David, a sculpture that, I repeat as I have said, has nothing to do with pornography… It’s a masterpiece, it represents a religious symbol of purity and innocence, the victory of good over evil,” she said.
“I am sure that Mrs Carrasquilla will find here, in Florence, the welcome and the solidarity that she deserves,’’ she added.
Carrasquilla’s 17-year old son Quinn, who had to stay behind in Tallahassee due to his Advanced Placement exams, told USA Today that his family was enjoying their visit.
“They’re really enjoying it a lot, who wouldn’t enjoy Italy?” he said.