(THE GUARDIAN) — The blazing chariots of Ben-Hur have been banned from Rome’s Circus Maximus, the site immortalised by the original Charlton Heston film, in a decision by Italy’s archeological officials that has caused consternation in the city mayor’s office.
Hollywood producers have been forced to reproduce the ancient site in a Rome studio for a remake of the award-winning 1959 film. The new film stars Morgan Freeman and is scheduled for release next year.
Rome’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, lamented the decision by Italy’s national cultural authorities to stop the proposed filming in Circus Maximus, which had been approved by local officials. He said it represented a missed opportunity.
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