Actor Jason Momoa has apologized for taking photos inside the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, while in Italy filming a movie.
Momoa shared several photos inside the historic chapel, which features famous Michelangelo masterpieces. Photography is not permitted in the chapel, and fans were quick to point that out in Instagram comments.
Momoa responded to the comments about what some thought were disrespectful photos. He posted a video on Instagram of himself working out, then said: “It’s my last day in Rome, and I just love you and Italy. If you ever thought I disrespected your culture, that wasn’t my intention.”
In the workout video, Momoa said he went to Italy when he was 19 or 20 to experience the Sistine Chapel. “I’ve always wanted to and now that I can, I gave a wonderful donation to bring my friends and crew because we only had a couple days off to experience these places,” he said.
He said people wanted to take photos with him, which he seemed to find surprising, saying “during a trip to the Vatican with all this wonder and they want to take pictures with me, which I don’t get, but regardless, I did.”
Momoa said he was respectful and asked for permission to take photos, which he thought would be OK. “I would never want to do anything to disrespect someone’s culture. If I did, I apologize. It was not my intention. I paid to have that private moment and gave a nice donation to the church. I love you. I’m sorry if I offended you,” he said.
The video now has more than 3 million views on Instagram.
The 42-year-old actor is in Italy filming the latest installment in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, “Fast X,” according to Entertainment Tonight.
In 2014, about 500 years after Michelangelo completed painting its famous ceiling, the Sistine Chapel got new lighting and air ventilation systems to help better preserve it.