NEWS » The David of Michalengelo illegally used

The David of Michalengelo illegally used

The David of Michelangelo, the Italian masterpiece of the Renaissance, has been illegally used to advertise a rifle. The image of David holding a AR-50A1 rifle disturbed the already restless dreams of Italians as the image was on many of the main Italian newspapers.

The marble statue of David, symbol of courage and intelligence triumphing over brutality, was a young shepherd and he never used a riffle to defeat Golia! Obviously there weren’t riffles at that time but even if it had been so, we can be sure that David wouldn’t be famous today for having killed a giant with a rifle. Couldn’t anyone do that?

Michelangelo’s David, unveiled in 1504, symbolized the defence of civil liberties embodied in the Florentine Republic. According to the biblical story, David faced the giant Golia armed with only his sling. The Illinois-based ArmaLite showed Michelangelo’s Masterpiece brandishing a 3000 dollars AR-50A1 riffle. Not only ArmaLite used the image of David, in the “Galleria dell' Accademia di Firenze”, without asking permission but also associated the statue with the sentence “A work of art” written on top of the picture and clearly referring to the rifle. The outrageous advertisement distorted the aesthetic value of this unique piece of art, for this reason, breaking the law. The copyright on the commercial use of images of David is held by the government. The law says that the aesthetic value of the work cannot be distorted.

The masterpiece can be used for publicity, as it has already happened in the case of the French campaign of pasta De Cecco 1999, or the week of sustainable mobility promoted by the left democrats in 2004. There is a procedure to follow though, but ArmaLite, with impressive nonchalance, ignored it. 

Whoever wants to use the image should ask permission submitting a project of the advertisement to the Direction of the “Galleria dell’accademia di Firenze”. However the approval is granted only if the legitimate procedures are followed and the advert is thought of good taste. In this case, not only the choice was of bad taste but also completely illegal.

The culture minister Dario Franceschini defined the image offensive and against the law. The company has been urged to withdraw the advertisement for the AR-50A1. Soon legal actions might be taken.  

Giulia Lombardo

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