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Authorities reject claims Terry Gilliam’s film damaged historic convent

Terry Gilliam previously said the claims were ‘ignorant nonsense’.


Terry Gilliam (Ian West/PA)

Terry Gilliam (Ian West/PA)

Terry Gilliam (Ian West/PA)

Portuguese authorities have rejected a television programme’s claims that a cherished convent was damaged while Monty Python star Terry Gilliam shot a movie there.

Public broadcaster RTP had said 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, claims Gilliam dismissed as “ignorant nonsense”.

The General-Directorate for Heritage said an investigation has now found that the convent suffered only “insignificant” damage.

The report published on Monday said the programme alleging wider damage “lacked rigour and revealed a lack of scientific knowledge”.

Sorry for the long silence. I've been busy packing the truck and am now heading home. After 17 years, we have completed…

Posted by Terry Gilliam on Sunday, June 4, 2017

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 Unesco.

Writing on Facebook in May, film-maker 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.

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

The 76-year-old went on: “There was not an iota of disrespect involved. People should begin by getting the facts before howling hysterically.”

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