Former Monty Python star's film blamed for monument damage

AP News
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Posted: Jun 05, 2017 9:30 AM

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Officials in Portugal have ordered an investigation into claims that one of the country's most cherished historic monuments was damaged during the shooting of a film by director and former Monty Python star Terry Gilliam.

The General Directorate for Cultural Heritage said Monday it is looking into a report by public broadcaster RTP that alleged the recent location shoot for "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" left behind chipped masonry, broken roof tiles and uprooted trees at the 12th-century Convent of Christ in Tomar, in central Portugal. RTP broadcast its investigation, based on claims by current and former staffers at the convent, on Friday night.

The convent was a stronghold of the Knights Templar and is classified as a world heritage site by the United Nations.

Gilliam, in a post on his Facebook page, said the allegations were "ignorant nonsense." He said the convent is "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," Gilliam wrote.

Officials at the Portuguese production company used at the location shooting, Ukbar Filmes, were not immediately available for comment.