The Italian Almanac

Da Vinci Code, advert image

Italian News - April 25

Catholic authorities in Rome are outraged by a decision to display a huge advert for the forthcoming film The Da Vinci Code on the facade of a church in the city's centre. The new ad, one of many popping up around Rome, is attached to scaffolding erected in order to complete restoration work on the church of San Pantaleo, near the main thoroughfare of Corso Vittorio Emmanuele.

Clearly unhappy, parish priest Father Adolfo Garcia Duran was tightlipped about the situation on Monday, saying only: "We've asked for it to be removed. We're waiting." But Monsignor Marco Frisina, a top official at the headquarters of the Rome diocese, or 'vicariato', had no trouble expressing his horror at the turn of events.

"The Da Vinci Code is a clever piece of commercial exploitation. Fine. But sticking a huge advert on the facade of a church is a blatant provocation," he said. "In front of a church in the historical centre! They'll soon be putting them on the front of the vicariato".

The Dan Brown bestseller which spawned the film has been lambasted in Catholic circles because of its largely negative portrayal of the Vatican and the conservative Catholic Opus Dei movement.