The Italian government is outraged that Armalite has used a PhotoShopped image of Michaelangelo’s David to promote their AR-50A1 bolt-action rifle.
They claim that Armalite’s advertising is not only disrespectful, but illegal:
The Italian culture minister has expressed anger over an advertisement from Illinois-based ArmaLite that depicts Michelangelo’s David holding a rifle, the BBC reported.
Dario Franceschini said the image was offensive and violated the law.
A number of Italian media websites carried an image of the advertisement, in which David is seen carrying a $3,000 bolt-action rifle, alongside the slogan “a work of art”.
Mr Franceschini called for the company to withdraw the advertisement for the AR-50A1.
He said in a tweet: “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.”
I suspect that the Italian government doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on in U.S. courts where the case would be argued, but I doubt this will go to trial.
I suspect Armalite will milk this for all it is worth and get tons of free advertising before finally withdrawing before a costly court fight.