News > Queen defy plea to scrap Rome gig

Added on 05-Apr-2005

From band Queen went ahead with a gig in Rome on Monday despite a plea to cancel out of respect for the Pope.

Queen are on tour with former Free singer Paul Rodgers in place of Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991.

Before the show, Guido Bertolaso, who is overseeing Rome's arrangements for Pope John Paul II's funeral, said it would be "in very bad taste right now".

Queen said the show took place "after consultation with local authorities" and they observed a minute's silence.

Although a fan of the group, Mr Bertolaso said: "I think that in this moment of pain and prayer, a concert should not be held in our capital - with all due respect to what others believe."

The government-appointed commissioner for the Italian capital's funeral arrangements added the group turned down requests to postpone the show at the Palalottomatica venue.

Fans still turned out in force to see Queen at the Palalottomatica arena

A statement from the group said: "After consultation with local authorities, promoter Barley Arts decided the concert should go ahead. Band opened concert with a minute of silence."

All Italian sporting events, including Serie A football matches, were cancelled at the weekend, as was campaigning for Italian regional elections.

And the Italian cinema box office slumped 37% over the weekend, according to film industry publication Screen Daily.

Rome film complex La Casa del Cinema postponed a screening of The Exorcist: The Beginning and a related debate that had been scheduled for Tuesday, Screen Daily reported.

Submitted by: Richard Orchard

What do you think?