ISTANBUL | Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:54pm EDT
(Reuters) - A stuntman in the new James Bond film "Skyfall" now shooting in Istanbul lost control of his motorcycle and smashed into the window of a 330-year-old shop in the city's 15th-century Grand Bazaar, Turkish media said on Monday.
The stuntman swerved to avoid hitting extras while careering through the Grand Bazaar at high speed, the NTV news channel said, but then crashed into the jewellery shop and smashed its crystal glass window.
"It is very nice for the Grand Bazaar to be chosen as a location for shooting this kind of movie. But the bazaar's administration ... didn't notify us the shooting would be like this," said Mete Boybeyi, the owner of the shop which once served members of the Ottoman court from the nearby palace.
"This place is regulated by the Council of Monuments. We can't even change our window without their permission," he said.
The bureaucracy involved in replacing the window would take quite some time, Boybeyi said, and that would mean the shop would remain shut and a loss of revenue.
"No one from the movie crew came to ask 'what are your losses?'," Boybeyi said. "We filed a complaint at the police station."
Skyfall, due for release in October this year, is the 23rd film in the popular and lucrative Bond series. Full details of the plot are a fiercely guarded secret, but in the film, producers say, "Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her".
The 1963 Bond film "From Russia with Love" and the 1999 Bond film "The World is Not Enough" were also filmed on location in Istanbul, one of the world's most historic cities which sits on the banks of the Bosphorus dividing Europe and Asia.
(Writing by Seltem Iyigun; Editing by Jon Hemming)
During the shooting of a scene over the weekend, a motorcycle entered a historical jewelry store, located inside the Grand Bazaar, through its front window, scattering the displayed jewelry all over the floor. The owner of the store, Mete Boyberi, said his store was built between 1461 and 1489 and no measures were taken to protect it during the filming. “Who would be held accountable if my store burned down because of the motorcycle?” he asked.
On Monday, three motorcycles rode on the roof of the Grand Bazaar, built in 1785. The footage during the filming was broadcast on the evening news. The Habertürk daily reported on Wednesday that dozens of tiles cracked as a result of the motorcycles driving over the roof and that a wooden divider was put on the bazaar side so that the damaged tiles could not be seen.
According to the Habertürk report, Faruk Bektaş, a board member of the foundation of the Grand Bazaar store owners, said the motorcycles rode on plastic tiles that replaced the original tiles before filming. Bektaş said the film crew removed the tiles in an area of roughly 100 square meters and placed other tiles for the movie scenes, adding that officials from the İstanbul Governor's Office, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality continuously oversee filming at the historic building. He argued that the movie will be useful in promoting the Grand Bazaar and boost tourism.
Art history professor Gönül Cantay told the daily that the filming should have been supervised by the Directorate General for Foundations (VGM), Turkey's authority on historical buildings, or the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He said it is “unacceptable” that historical buildings are damaged for the sake of a movie. Cantay added that the problems regarding the protection of the Grand Bazaar did not start with the movie and that the building has been in need of repair for a long time.
Residents of the neighborhood where the James Bond movie is being filmed have also claimed that trees, including two centuries-old trees, were cut down for the movie. The municipality denied the allegations, saying seasonal maintenance is under way.
The Grand Bazaar is known as the oldest bazaar in the world
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