Trabzon, Turkey, February 15, 2022
Seemingly unfazed by the scandal that erupted last week surrounding the profanation of Panagia Sumela Monastery in Trabzon, Turkish authorities are now allowing a Hollywood studio to shoot scenes for an upcoming film in the ancient monastery.
According to skai.gr, local Trabzon media is reporting that Sony Pictures upcoming film Spiral will include scenes shot in the monastery.
The shooting will take place on February 23-26, and nearly all necessary licenses have been obtained, with only that from the Prefecture of Trabzon pending.
An international scandal erupted last week when footage of the filming of an advertisement in the monastery courtyard was released. Orthodox hierarchs and faithful didn’t take kindly to the monastery being used as a nightclub with a DJ spinning electronica music.
The advertisement was condemned by a number of hierarchs and the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece.
For centuries, the cliff-side monastery in the Black Sea city served as the cradle of Pontian Hellenism. After 88 years of banning access to the site, Turkey reopened it on August 15, 2010, and a new tradition of Patriarch Bartholomew celebrating the monastery’s patronal feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos there began. However, the monastery was closed for restoration in February 2016, and the Patriarch was not permitted to serve throughout the restoration process, which mostly addressed the stability of the cliff.