The Catholic Church of Brazil seems to be under the impression that it owns any image of the famous Christ the Redeemer sculpture which stands high above Rio de Janeiro, and is suing Columbia Pictures for using it in last year’s blockbuster 2012.
The apocalyptic film shows Rio being destroyed by a tidal wave, and the 40-metre statue crumbling under the water.
The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, who commissioned the sculpture in 1931, refused permission to Columbia when they asked to use the image in their film, but Columbia went ahead anyway. The Archdiocese’s laweyer, Claudine Dutra, explained:
many faithful have said they are shocked and offended by the images of the destruction of this sanctuary that the archdiocese wanted to preserve.
We want Columbia Pictures to publicly declare that it did not intend to cause offense.
They are also seeking undisclosed damages.
Funnily enough, director Roland Emmerich wanted to include a scene which showed the destruction of the Kaaba – the holy rock-in-a-box towards which devout Muslims point the crown of their head five times a day. But he feared a fatwa.