Armed David in Rifle Ad Causes Outrage

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 20:18

In place of the sling, a sniper rifle. That’s the David, according to ArmaLite Inc., a manufacturer of weapons based in Illinois, which has used the Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo in its latest ad campaign for the AR-50A1, a $3,000 rifle. The advertisement carries the line, “a work of art.”

The image has sparked an uproar in the art world. In a tweet, Italy's culture minister Dario Franceschini wrote: "The image of David, armed, offends and infringes the law. We will take action against the American company so that it immediately withdraws its campaign."

Florence’s Historical Heritage and Fine Arts Board curator Cristina Acidini has issued a legal notice to ArmaLite to withdraw the image, saying it distorts the artwork.

Angelo Tartuferi, director of Florence's Accademia Gallery, where the statue is on display, told La Repubblica newspaper: "The law says that the aesthetic value of the work cannot be distorted. In this case, not only is the choice in bad taste, but also completely illegal."