The Italian Minister of Culture said he is outraged by the advertisement of a weapon in the hand of Michelangelo’s David.
“The image of David, armed, offends and infringes the law. We will take action against the American company so that it immediately withdraws its (advertising) campaign,” Culture Minister Dario Franceschini tweeted (translation per the AFP).
Mind you, the ad is not offensive for its content, putting a weapon even in the arms of a statue today cannot offend anyone, specifically because Italy is the 7th World exporter of Arms and the proud manufacturer of a designer brand all of its own, Beretta, the world’s oldest gun manufacturer - working to create weapons to kill since 1526 through 16 generations -and THAT is something to be proud of.
Beretta is known for its broad range of firearms: side-by-side shotguns, over-and-under shotguns, hunting rifles, express rifles, assault rifles, submachine guns, lever and bolt-action rifles, single and double action revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. The parent company, Beretta Holding, also owns Beretta USA, Benelli, Franchi, SAKO, Stoeger, Tikka, Uberti, and the Burris Optics company.
The model Beretta 92FS is the primary side arm of the United States Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, designated the M9 pistol. In 1985, Beretta was chosen after a controversial competition to produce the M9, winning a contract for 500,000 pistols. A condition of the original agreement was domestic fabrication of the M9.
When Beretta took 45 millions out of Italy to invest it in the USA economy, no one was offended, there is no problem with weapons manufacturing in the world, those industries enjoy the largest freedom of movement and the maximum freedom to corrupt, here is a graphic depiction of how this business is handled – and we know it!- and how the Fifth influent research institute in the world, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – SIPRI, exists just to collect data to conceal, making sure the extent of the industry and its criminal activities are kept under seal (visit their site and check how easy it is to put together all the information and what transparency is NOT), instead of being the solution provider to this abomination that is war and this unstoppable thirst we seem to have to kill each other – that would be a surely required change to turn around the industry through transparency and accountability, accepting nothing less that a steady plan to demilitarize the world that would have to be kept in place ’til we are over and done with.
According to SIPRI, in the year 2012 Italy’s military expenditure was in the region of 34,004,000,000 USD, considering that we don’t even have a conscripting military service but only Peace Missions, in alignment with our Constitution that prohibits any offensive action toward any country in the world (but as someone wrote in 2008 ‘Berlusconi has begun to talk about modifying the Italian Constitution, so the non-offense part of the Constitution can be changed just as easily‘), meaning, whoever is in power, we are working on disentangling ourselves from the hideous restriction to not go on offense missions, which we could now easily do by creating new job opportunities in the military industry, in a country devastated first by austerity and then by unemployment – wait, it’s occurring to me that this is NOT a new idea ….), it’s a baffling number, what do we buy for that sum in the pursuit of a peace in which we are NOT succeeding?
We lament that we do not have the money for a LIVING income for ALL, those who have it in their political program are made fun of and pushed aside in every possible way from the possibility of approaching the legislative panel (see Movement 5 Star), even though taking people out of undignified lives and the choices that go with it, would be the least we can do and, in Italy, that money alone could give 1500 euro to 22,000,000 people or 2000 euro to 17,000,000, without any loss, got that?
No one would lose without weapons industries, because creating arms is the consequential outflow of a fear/ greed based society and of a neocolonial mentality, where we need to go on offence missions to steal other countries resources so we won’t have to question the un-sustainability of the lives we live – furthermore those that would lose their jobs in the war games would be caught by the living income guaranteed safety net that we plan to extend to all those that need it.
Win win win.
Of course, creating a living income guaranteed will mean that we would have to rethink our economic system as a whole, it would be impossible to give a ‘living income’ that is above the minimum wage, which in Italy at the moment can range to anything from 600 euro to 1000 euro and does NOT in any way guarantee a dignified living to working folks, hence making working less profitable than not-working would imply that wages for working people will have to be adjusted to at least double the living income to make working interesting and that would mean companies and corporations would have to work to make the jobs they offer appealing and would become less profitable, yes, true, so what?
Profit at the top in the face of misery at the bottom should be a crime, the only reason why it’s not is because our legal system has been hijacked by private interests and our common sense has given way to the liberal free market sense of profitability over Life, which in no way means that we cannot turn things around, we’ll just need a little patience to explain to people who going to war to make a very minute group of owners of ì weapons manufacturing industries filthy rich is insane, the fact that it’s legal makes it even more questionable and shows it’s high time to take back democracy for real through direct participation, to turn it into something that works for all vs this mockery of Freedom without ‘substance’, aka money, to live.
If we lived in a just world no one would have the need to defend themselves or their property, if everyone was given the means to live, we could have peace and, honestly, turning the money of the weapons industry into money for support and development of all of humanity is really a no brainer.
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell the end of David’s story, we are not offended because it’s a crime to associate something as ugly as arms meant to kill to works of art meant to show the sublime potential of human creativity, nope, we are offended because David’s image belongs to us – and if anyone is going to put a weapon in his arm, it shall be Beretta -and not those image-thieving scoundrels of ArmaLite Inc. Makes sense?
The superintendent of the State Museums of Florence, Cristina Acidini, elaborated on Franceschini’s comment, explaining that the image of David is copyrighted to Italy and can’t be used without permission.