(Rome) The director of the Florence museum housing Michelangelo’s David on Monday lamented the “twisted mind” of the “ignorant” who obtained the dismissal of a school principal in Florida who had shown in class the nudity of the biblical hero.

The principal of a contract school in Tallahassee, capital of Florida, was forced to resign after she showed her 11- and 12-year-old students a photo of the famous nude sculpture by the Florentine artist, an initiative described as ” pornographic” by parents.

“There is a big difference between nudity and pornography,” said Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Accademia Gallery in Florence, in an interview with AFP. “You really have to have a twisted mind to confuse” the two.

“Those who are bothered [by David’s nudity] have a serious problem with the roots of Western culture,” she says, while “it is precisely the nudity that is the symbol of his purity”.

The German historian, who denounces “an inappropriate Puritanism”, considers this case “quite serious” because it reveals that “we are losing the link with our culture and with History”.

“When you think that in the past at the Olympics in Greece all [the athletes] were naked,” she adds with a smile.

Emblem of the Italian Renaissance, the David sculpted by Michelangelo Buonarroti between 1501 and 1504 in a single block of Carrara marble represents the biblical hero as he prepares to confront the giant Goliath with his sling. This statue is often considered the ideal of male beauty.

The president of the Florida school’s parent council, Barney Bishop, assured American television CNN that it was not a question of banning the image, which is shown every year in progress. arts.

But according to him, the parents were not informed in advance as provided for in the procedure and even if almost all of them were satisfied with the course, the establishment received a complaint deeming the image pornographic.

The principal and teacher, Hope Carrasquilla, has been ordered to resign or risk being fired. “It saddens me that my mission here had to end like this,” she told the Tallahassee Democrat daily.

Asked by Slate if this decision was due to the controversy, Mr. Bishop confirmed that “it was one problem, among many others”.

Florida places great emphasis on parental rights in education, a policy led by Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to run against Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s nominee for the 2024 presidential election.