ROME - A former Florida school principal who was forced to resign after students were shown an image of Michelangelo’s iconic statue of a nude David viewed the masterpiece in person on Friday in Florence.
Cecilie Hollberg, who directs the Accademia Gallery in Florence, where the David is the star attraction, said that Hope Carrasquilla, her husband and two children, came straight to the museum right after they arrived in the city.
Carrasquilla stepped down as principal of Tallahassee Classical school in the Florida city last month after one parent claimed the towering sculpture was pornographic. Other parents complained they weren't notified in advance that their children would be shown the nude figure during a lesson featuring the Renaissance.
Hosting Carrasquilla was an "immense pleasure," the gallery director said.
"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,'' Hollberg said in a written statement. "It's a masterpiece, it represents a religious symbol of purity and innocence, the victory of good over evil."
Hollberg added that the work's nudity "is a clear expression of the Renaissance, which puts man at the center of attention."
Michelangelo's marble sculpture depicts the Biblical David, naked, with a sling over his shoulder and a rock in his hand, ready for battle with Goliath.
A call to Carrasquilla's cell phone went unanswered.
FILE - Restoration work on Michelangelo's masterpiece David is completed May 24, 2004, at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, Italy. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Hollberg noted that currently more than 50% of the gallery visitors come from the United States.
"I am sure that Mrs. Carrasquilla will find here, in Florence, the welcome and the solidarity that she deserves,'' the director added.
The Florida school is attended by some 400 students from kindergarten through 12th grade.