Postcard from... Rome


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The Independent Online

James Bond must wonder if Rome’s got it in for him. After graffiti sprayers and art historians, the latest obstacle reportedly facing the production team of the latest 007 film, Spectre, is an medieval order of monks.

The Trapassati fraternity has stepped in to block filming of a funeral scene in the 24th  film in the series, starring Daniel Craig. The monks claim the city’s Verano cemetery, the resting place of artists and writers, might be damaged by the sets and machinery needed to film there, according to Il Messaggero newspaper. With shooting due to start next Thursday, the paper reports that last-minute plans to swap the scene to the southern Eur district are being touted.

The Eternal City might sound like the perfect location to shoot action scenes for Spectre – but it’s not only the monks who have had reservations. In December, it emerged that a car chase at the city’s 15th-century Quattro Fontane was vetoed after experts feared for the landmark, recently restored at considerable expense.

And earlier this month, a campaign group claimed that graffiti-covered walls, stairs and benches meant filming along the Tiber would not be good publicity for the city. The mayor’s office has promised to clean things up in time.