Russell Crowe has been slammed for using his ‘special privilege’ while on holiday in Rome, where he was allowed to bend the rules.
On a visit to the Sistine Chapel located in The Vatican, the Hollywood actor sparked a heated debate after posting photographs from the inside.
It’s well known that visitors are banned from taking photos while in the chapel, as officials are worried about damage to the ancient works of art that adorn the ceiling.
The Gladiator actor used his star power and was allowed to visit the Sistine Chapel privately, a stark difference to the sardine-packed crowds that regular tourists encounter daily.
"I’m not sure there’s a more special privilege in the world than to hold the key for the Sistine Chapel and to experience its glory in silence. So grateful. Sono al service di Roma,” the star wrote on Twitter.
His tweet, which included three photos of the interior, has gone viral with over 100,000 likes. However, not all of the attention has been positive.
“So, the church gives privileges to rich and famous people while the plebs have to queue and swelter in the heat. Never mind taking photos. By the way, did you fly in by private jet? Just curious because of the global climate emergency and all,” one irate fan wrote.
“Thought you weren’t allowed to take photos inside the chapel,” a second pointed out.
“Of course the rich and famous get special treatment. The Catholic Church was, is, and always will be about one. A little look at the history of the church makes this blatantly obvious,” another pointed out.
Some fans were quick to defend the actor, saying that he deserves special treatment because of his role in The Gladiator.
“Jealous or what? The man [is] enjoying his holiday with his family and kind enough to share his experience with others. What do they do? Spit poison. Some people really do need to get a life,” one remarked.
"Actually holding the key. Russell, even his Excellency The Pope trusts you. So happy for you," another replied.
A fellow traveller even weighed in, saying that there is an ‘exclusive’ tour you can do early in the morning.
“I took the ‘exclusive’ tour at 6am. We opened the windows and shutters and turned on lights. Walked the original Bramante staircase which is normally closed off from the public. The key masters even gave us the keys for photo opps,” he wrote, alongside a photo of himself with the keys.
There are a number of private or small tours that people can book, although it will make a dent in your wallet. The official Musei Vaticani offers an option to see the Sistine Chapel once it has closed to the general public.
With a group size of up to 20, the website describes it as having ‘exclusive entrance to the Sistine Chapel, after closure to the public’, as well as a Happy Hour.
One ticket will set you back at €78, or roughly $115 AUD, compared to the regular cost which is approximately $25 AUD.
There are numerous other tour operators that offer early access to the Sistine Chapel, such as Get Your Guide’s ‘Exclusive Opening’ tour which costs around $485 AUD.
Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.
Or if you have a story idea, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.