‘Shocked’ over Chaplin statue row, filmmaker looks for new site

March 15th, 2009 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, March 15 (IANS) Kannada filmmaker Hemanth Hegde Sunday said he was shocked to hear that people were opposing his plans to erect a 62-feet-high statue of master comedian Charlie Chaplin for his film because the actor was a “Christian”. He said he was looking at an alternative location.
“It came as a rude shock to me as I had taken permission from the deputy commissioner to erect the statue at Maravanthe beach,” Hegde told IANS.

Hegde said a group of people, who did not identify themselves as belonging to any pro-Hindu outfit, objected to the plan and said they would not allow a Christian’s statue to come up because there was a temple near the spot.

The filmmaker’s plea that he had taken permission from the authorities did not impress the group, who insisted that he drop the plan.

“I hope to seek permission from the state government to install the statue at either Bhatkal Beach or Karwar beach now. If I don’t get permission, I will be unable to realise my ambition. This film has to release on time to recover costs,” the director said.

Hegde wanted to install Chaplin’s statue at Maravanthe beach, about 400 km from here, for his film “House Full”. He had hoped it would find a place in the Guinness Book of World Records and that it would remain a tourist attraction even after the film’s shoot.

However, state Home Minister V.S. Acharya, who hails from Udupi, has dismissed the Chaplin statue row as an issue being blown out of proportion.

He told reporters in Udupi late Saturday that a permanent statue could not be erected without permission from the authorities. People have objected to the plan as they don’t want any permanent statue in the area, he said.

“House Full” is a comedy about two happy-go-lucky youngsters who are always stumbling into new ideas to please their girlfriends.

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