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Teacher fired for showing students classical paintings containing nudity

The classical paintings by Amedeo Modigliani and Francois Boucher made one of the parents to call the police claiming the teacher showed pornography images.

"Iris Tree" by Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani and the Rococo-style partial nude "Odalisque" by 18th-century artist Francois Boucher, were shown to the young students, the teacher said.

An art teacher was fired following complaints made against him after he showed fifth and sixth-graders images of classical paintings containing nudity, FOX13 reported. One of the parents called the police claiming the teacher showed pornography to the students.

The teacher Mateo Rueda at Lincoln Elementary in Hyrum, Utah, said he was not aware that a set of educational postcards from the school’s library contained two Impressionist-era portraits.

“Iris Tree” by Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani and the Rococo-style partial nude “Odalisque” by 18th-century artist Francois Boucher, were shown to the young students, the teacher said.

“I was surprised about those images being there.” He told FOX13. He said he went through the material and took out those he felt were unsuitable for the students.

One of his students, Bella Jensen, told FOX13: “Mr. Mateo explained to us that there might be some pictures that we’ll find uncomfortable,” and added her friends laughed at some of the paintings but enjoyed the project.

The teacher attempted to explain the images were art and “encouraged” the students to speak with their parents about the paintings they saw.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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