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Russell Crowe has been criticised for taking photos from inside of the Sistine Chapel during his recent trip to Italy.

The taking of photos of the fresco by Michelangelo while visiting the historic building is usually strictly forbidden.

However, The Gladiator actor enjoyed a private tour of the Vatican museum and uploaded a series of photos on social media.

"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 it’s [sic] glory in silence," he wrote.

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He also said: "A very special experience as a family yesterday.

"Got to walk through the Vatican Museum by ourselves. Amazing.”

The star added: "My mum had walked these corridors with my father 20+ years ago with the thousands of tourist that flock here daily and make it the third most popular museum globally.

"We were given access to rooms, perspectives and parts of the collection you don’t get to see as a regular tourist.”

Crowe went on to say: "As we squeezed into a tiny private elevator and ascended to a balcony few get to see, she squeezed my hand and said 'I wish your father was here'.

"We stepped on to the balcony, a majestic sweeping view of Rome. From somewhere in the Vatican we could hear the Swiss Guard band rehearsing."

He may have enjoyed the once in a lifetime experience, but Crowe attracted controversy online for his actions – with people pointing out that taking pictures of the iconic ceiling was forbidden.”

“Thought you weren’t allowed to take photos inside the chapel,” one wrote.

“Your not supposed to take photos in the Chapel Russel, you should know bettero?,” another said.

One more added: “So the whole flash photo claims from museums is b******* then?”

Others were more supportive of Crowe, with one writing: “This man, Russell Crowe, has given Rome more than they could ever pay him in a lifetime by making Rome a more, it already was, important holiday destination after Gladiator, my favorite movie.”

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