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Jason Momoa addresses backlash from taking photos in the Sistine Chapel

"I would never want to do anything to disrespect someone’s culture."
Dune screening - London
Jason Momoa attends a special screening of Dune at the Odeon Leicester Square in London. Picture date: Monday October 18, 2021.Ian West - PA Images / PA Images via Getty Images

Jason Momoa says he is sorry for taking photos and videos in the Sistine Chapel. 

The “Aquaman” star, 42, recently visited the famous chapel in Vatican City with friends and crew members from his upcoming “Fast & Furious” franchise movie, “Fast X.”

"I LOVE YOU ITALY what a beautiful start to our day off enjoying ROMA big mahalos to @vaticanmuseums @rembrandt82 @imagoartistravel @fulvioiatravel @chiaradimuoio @vioscooking ALOHA J," he wrote on Instagram.

He shared several photos and videos of the ceiling frescoes painted by Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel, located in Vatican City, which is the official residence of the pope.

While many fans admired the photos, others pointed out that photography is not normally allowed inside the church, and questioned why Momoa took so many pictures.

Momoa took in the splendors of the Sistine Chapel.
Momoa took in the splendors of the Sistine Chapel.prideofgypsies/ Instagram

“We can’t take pics but ofc celebrities can 😔 nothing against Jason ( I adore him) but it’s not fair,” one person wrote in the comments.

"All I remember about that place was ‘no photos please’ 😂,” another person wrote, with another commenter adding, “Wow! You got a private viewing of the Vatican AND you were allowed to take pictures?!”

Others took issue with one of Momoa’s videos that showed him reaching over a rope barrier to run his hand over a sculpture. 

“I cringed when he rubbed his hands on the art. I love @prideofgypsies, but not cool, dude,” one person commented on Instagram.

In a follow-up video, Momoa seemed to address the comments about his Sistine Chapel visit. He began the video by lifting weights while shirtless before pausing his workout to share an apology.

“If you ever felt that I disrespected your culture, that wasn’t my intention,” he said.

He noted that he gave the chapel “a wonderful donation to bring my friends and crew because we only had a couple days off to go experience these places.”

He added that several fans had approached him for pictures during his Sistine Chapel visit, and he obliged.

“I was very respectful and I asked for permission for what I thought would be OK. So, I would never want to do anything to disrespect someone’s culture,” he said. “So if I did, I apologize and it wasn’t my intention. And I definitely paid to have that private moment and gave a nice donation to the church. And so I love you, sorry if I offended you. My apologies.”

The actor finished his video with a message for the paparazzi, which he said had been following him during his Italy visit.

“I understand the game, I’m not a big fan of fame, but regardless, it comes with the territory,” he said. “I was very nice, I said alright, you can take your pictures and then please leave me alone … and they didn’t do that, and they wouldn’t leave me alone, and so I don’t like being hunted … so this is what you get...” 

He finished the video by attacking the camera.