RTL 5 minutes – Grand Duchy, a little history: Venice-sur-Alzette, crazy producer

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The output of the Red earth at the dawn of the 2000s, the fake Venice to Esch-sur-Alzette will remain one of the film sets the most ambitious of the story.

The decoration itself or the stroke of madness has started, we don’t know what that is the most stunning… In 2001, the company Delux Productions embarks on a mammoth project: to rebuild the Venice of the 16th century on the site of the former steel Arbed, located in the Terres Rouges in Esch-sur-Alzette.

“EVERY PERSON WHO COULD HOLD A HAMMER WAS COMMITTED”

Delusional on paper, the project is just as much life-size. Hundreds of workers — carpenters, painters, blacksmiths… — if escriment months at a time. The figures give dizzy: 2.300 m3 of wood, 63 tons of steel, 6 tons of paint, and 6,000 m3 of water to power the artificial channels. The official budget exceeds $ 5 million. Italian craftsmen are even sent specially to come and make the gondolas of the 16th century. The decor is out of the ordinary is built on an area of 22.500 square meters and consists of 118 different facades.

There were up to 800 people who worked at the same time on the setssays producer Jean-Claude Schlim. The producers had contacted all the agencies for the employment of the Greater Region. Each person who could hold a hammer was involved.

Originally built for the needs of the filming of the movie Secret Passage the filmmaker bosnian Ademir Kenovic, Venice-sur-Azette is ultimately going to be held in place until 2007, serving as the setting for several films including The girl with a pearl earring (2003) with Scarlett Johansson and The merchant of Venice (2004) with Al Pacino.

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“This IS The IMAGE I’ll KEEP Of AL PACINO, THAT OF SOMEONE who is VERY RESPECTFUL TO THE LUXEMBOURG”

This production has also resulted in a meeting little mundane between the actor’s mythical Serpico or Scarface and the Grand-Duke Henri. Jean-Claude Schlim, executive producer on the film, remembers: “Very American, he told me that he had learned that the Grand Duke was to come and that he wanted to know what was the protocol. I had to teach him because he absolutely wanted to do the right thing. I still meant not to do too much, that it was not the Queen of England, and Luxembourg, people are easy access. I found it very respectful on his part. This is the image I’ll keep of Al Pacino, someone very respectful towards the Luxembourg. Everywhere we went, he gave autographs, he let himself be photographed, he even held the pots for the team luxembourg… in Short, far from the big star inaccessible. It has shown me that often the greatest players are the simplest to live.

The decor, too expensive to maintain, will be dismantled in 2007. As for the company Delux Productions, she declared bankruptcy in 2014 while she was in the process of producing a film on the life of Marvin Gaye.

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