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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 May 2006, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Indian censors win Da Vinci fight
By Monica Chadha
BBC News, Mumbai

Audrey Tautou and Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code
The film will be shown without any cuts
Hollywood film The Da Vinci Code will be released in India after its makers agreed to a disclaimer demanded by the Censor Board of India.

Sony Pictures said they would insert a "legal card which clearly indicates the 'fictitious' nature of the film at the beginning for 15 seconds".

The legal card will also be screened at the end of the film.

The film was originally scheduled for release in India on May 19, but the board demanded the legal disclaimer.

Stiff opposition

The disclaimer is in addition to the one already being shown at the end of the film. The demand led to Sony Pictures delaying the film's release until an agreement was reached.

The company did not agree to modify the wording of the legal disclaimer at the board's discretion.

The card reads: "The characters and incidents portrayed and the names herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional."

The movie had faced stiff opposition from the Christian community with some Catholic groups asking for it to be banned.

A protest by candlelight involving Christians in India
Christians protesters in India demanded the film be banned

Following special screenings for various Catholic leaders and even the information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, the censor board finally gave the film an A certification and cleared it for release without cuts last week.

On Tuesday, the government of the north east state of Nagaland ordered cinemas not to screen the film. A spokesman for Sony Pictures said he had no comment on the issue.

One of Hollywood's most awaited films, The Da Vinci Code was released worldwide last week after a star-studded premiere at the Cannes film festival.

Based on author Dan Brown's novel, the film stars Oscar winner Tom Hanks. It took $231.8m (122.6m) at box offices around the world despite a string of bad reviews.

Film distributor Columbia has said this is the second most successful opening in history after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, which made $253m (134m) in its first weekend after release.

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