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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
'Da Vinci chapel' filming starts
Da Vinci Code/Tom Hanks composite image
Tom Hanks will take the lead role in the movie
Officials have closed the Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian for a week to allow filming of the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

The medieval building has found new popularity because of its association with the best-selling novel.

But concern has been expressed that the unprecedented interest in the chapel will be damaging unless it is strictly controlled.

The chapel's trustees said protection of the site was always under review.

Agreement for the use of the location has been agreed between the trustees and Rose Line Productions.

The film will star Tom Hanks as Professor Robert Langdon.

The 15th century chapel first experienced a surge in visitors after the book's plot suggested it was built to house the secret of the Holy Grail.

Rosslyn Chapel picture courtesy of Undiscovered Scotland
Rosslyn Chapel has seen a surge in visitor numbers

Despite being derided by the Catholic church and many historians, Dan Brown's work has sold 17 million copies worldwide.

Trustees spokesman Stuart Beattie has said he is confident his colleagues will feel the film is value for money. Location fees alone could generate 100,000.

A spokesman for Rose Line Productions described Rosslyn as a "magnificent" building which would enhance the quality of the film.

Hanks will play the lead role with Audrey Tautou the female co-star. Oscar winner Ron Howard is directing.

Provost Sam Campbell, Midlothian Council's tourism spokesman, said he was "delighted" that the area was going to be displayed all over the world.

He said the money the trust was receiving would help with the restoration of the chapel and he dismissed fears over the impact of mass tourism.

'Different identity'

"It is a small village and numbers can be a problem. But we would rather see that as a problem than no people at all," he said.

Graham Harris, owner of the Old Roslin Hotel, has changed the name of its restaurant to "The Grail" in reference to the book's content.

He said: "To be honest it was my son's idea. It was to give us a different identity.

"We have always had business from the chapel. I have been here for 30 years.

"We have had filming before but never quite on this scale."

Watch Nina Macleod's report

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