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Wednesday 28 June 2017

'We didn't damage convent' - Gilliam

Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam

Film-maker Terry Gilliam has said claims that a cherished Portuguese convent was damaged during movie shooting are "ignorant nonsense".

The General Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Portugal has said it is looking into a report by public broadcaster RTP that the location shoot for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote left chipped masonry, broken roof tiles and uprooted trees at the 12th-century Convent of Christ in Tomar.

The convent was a stronghold of the Knights Templar, a Christian military order founded in 1119, and is classified as a world heritage site by the United Nations.

Protect

Writing on Facebook, Gilliam said: "Whoa!! Let's call a sot (sic) to this ignorant nonsense. I think the Conveto di Cristois one of the most glorious buildings I have ever seen.

"Everything we did there was to protect the building from harm.. and we succeeded. Trees were not cut down, stones were not broken."

The Monty Python star (76) said: "There was not an iota of disrespect involved. People should begin by getting the facts before howling hysterically."

Ukbar Filmes, the Portuguese production company used at the location shooting, said some damage was catalogued by convent officials who monitored the filming.

The damage included six modern roof tiles and four small chips in masonry, which will be restored, Ukbar Filmes said.

The company said the trees were planted during the making of another film and that convent officials consented to their removal at the end of the shoot.

Gilliam's film has taken years to come to fruition.

He wrote on Facebook that the shoot had finally wrapped.

"Sorry for the long silence," he said. "I've been busy packing the truck and am now heading home.

"After 17 years, we have completed the shoot. Muchas gracias to all the team and believers."

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