The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Church shuts out Code shoot

London, May 31 (Reuters): Producers of the upcoming movie based on the blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code were not allowed to film in Britain’s Westminster Abbey after church officials denounced the book as “theologically unsound”.

The 940-year-old London Abbey, where British monarchs are crowned, features in the international murder mystery by US author Dan Brown which has been condemned by the Vatican and Anglican Church leaders for distorting the Christian message.

The novel alleges Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children, whereas Christians are taught that Christ never married and was childless when he was crucified.

“Although a real page turner, The Da Vinci Code is theologically unsound and we cannot commend or endorse the contentious and wayward religious and historic suggestions made in the book ' nor its views of Christianity and the New Testament,” the Abbey said in a statement.

“It would therefore be inappropriate to film scenes from the book here.”

Last week officials at Lincoln Cathedral in eastern England said they had agreed to allow their building to be used by the makers of the forthcoming film, which stars Tom Hanks as the book’s central character Professor Robert Langdon.

The statement from Westminster Abbey, which appears in scenes towards the end of Brown’s novel, also insisted some of the book’s details were factually inaccurate.

It said it would be providing the Abbey’s marshals with information to clear up the mistakes for visiting tourists drawn to the church by its appearance in The Da Vinci Code.

“We are already receiving regular, daily inquiries related to the book and we expect these to continue and even grow in the next couple of years, even with no effort on our own part, simply because the book is so popular,” its statement said.

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