Armalite calls their AR-50A1 a "work of art"

Armalite calls their AR-50A1 a “work of art”


Italy’s culture minister Dario Franceschini has expressed outrage over an advertisement by a US weapons manufacturer showing Michelangelo’s David holding a rifle, saying the image was offensive and violated the law, reports the BBC.

The advertisement, from Illinois-based ArmaLite, carries the line “a work of art” in promoting the $3,000 rifle. The advertisment is actually from the company’s “Work of Art” campaign last year, but it was recently published in an Italian newspaper which sparked the controversy.


Mr Franceschini said “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.”

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. The Italian government insists it holds the copyright on the commercial use of images of David.

Angelo Tartuferi, director of Florence’s Accademia Gallery, where the statue is on display, told 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.”

About The Author

Olga Hughes is currently pre-occupied with fairy tales, fantasy, misanthropy, medieval history and the long eighteenth century. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and is currently majoring in Literature and History at Deakin. She has contributed to websites such as History behind Game of Thrones, The Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society.

4 Responses

    • Olga Hughes

      The copyright issue is interesting actually. I suppose the Statue of Liberty is a public monument but then the Italian Government is claiming copyright on David, not the gallery that houses the statue.

  1. Marc

    David’s the guy who became famous by killing his opponent with one shot to the forehead, from the sling the statue has on its shoulder. Yep, sure is offensive to show him armed…

    • Olga Hughes

      Yes Marc, it’s the biblical David, sans Goliath.