IT IS FORBIDDEN TO EXPLOIT MICHELANGELO’S DAVID’S NAME AND IMAGE WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION OF THE GALLERY OF THE ACADEMY OF FLORENCE
The Court of Florence, by order dated October 26, 2017 (RG.N. 13758/2017), stated, with reference to a travel agency which used the name and image of Michelangelo’s David for publicizing its business, the ban of use and reproduce on all the Italian and European territory of said image on flyers, sites and souvenirs, in the lack of authorization from the Galleria dell’Accademia of Florence.
In this case, a travel agency used the image of Michelangelo’s David for commercial purposes without ever trying to obtain the concession from the authority that has the property in hand, undoubtedly identifiable in the Gallery of the Academy in Florence.
The rule to be taken into consideration is the article 108 of Legislative Decree 42/2004 (Code of the Cultural Heritage) which makes subject to concession the reproduction of cultural assets for profit purposes. In fact, reproduction is free only if it is carried out without profit.
In the order the Court of Florence also ordered “the immediate withdrawal from trade and the destruction of all advertising material reproducing the image of Michelangelo’s David or parts of it, as well as all the tools used to produce and/or commercialize such products, everything with reference both to the company and to third parties which hold and/or have, however, the availability of such goods”.