An American assault rifle manufacturer has drawn the ire of Italy's culture minister after an advertisement depicting Michelangelo's David holding a massive AR-50A1 was published in an Italian newspaper.

The ad is actually a year old -- the company tweeted it on May 15, 2013 -- and part of the company's "work of art" campaign:

Another ad shows an ArmaLite AR-301A on the wall of a museum in between American Gothic and the Mona Lisa. The barrel of the gun is pointed at Mona Lisa's head. Italy's probably not going to like that one, either.

The country, which claims the copyright to the statue, is trying to force ArmaLite to remove its ad. The director of the Accademia Gallery, where David (sans weapon) is on display, said the ad was both in "bad taste" and "completely illegal."

"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).

And the Historical Heritage and Fine Arts Board curator Cristina Acidini has issued a "legal notice" to the company demanding that it withdraw the ad.

It's always nice to see America making such positive impressions overseas.

ArmaLite is currently having a "McArmaLite March Sale" on its weapons, featuring the image of a leprechaun wielding one of its assault rifles.