Gunmaker Arms Michelangelo's David Statue With Rifle, Angers Italy

VIDEO: U.S. gun manufacturer ArmaLite Inc., tweaks the masterpiece to include an AR-50A1 rifle.

A U.S. gun manufacturer that created an image of Michelangelo's famous "David" statue holding a rifle has riled Italian culture aficionados.

The ad, by the Geneseo, Ill.-based company ArmaLite Inc., depicts the famous statue holding an AR-50A1 rifle that costs $3,700 with the slogan "a work of art" above it.

Italy's culture minister Dario Franceschini Tweeted a message, saying the advertisement "offends and violates the law." He also threatened to take action against ArmaLite unless it immediately withdraws the ad campaign, citing copyright law.

The company said in a statement to ABC News that the ad had been taken out of circulation when a new owner bought ArmaLite.

"I believe that an advertisement utilizing an altered photograph of a masterpiece such as David is in poor taste. We deeply regret that ArmaLite offended anyone by this media campaign, which we ended upon our acquisition of the Company," Mark Johnson, the chief executive officer of ArmaLite's parent company, Strategic Armory Corps, LLC, said. "We will make every effort to be sure that any remnants from the campaign are removed from the public".

(Photo Credit: ArmaLite Inc. )

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