The lead singer of English alternative rock band Muse claimed that the band bribed officials to obtain permits to use fireworks during a concert in Rome on 6 July.
Muse frontman Matt Bellamy made the allegations to British daily tabloid newspaper The Sun on 26 July.
“In Rome, we had to bribe people with thousands of euros just to be allowed to blast our fire effects – said Bellamy – We had to phone the British Embassy in Rome and argue with some official. If you want to do things like this on the move, it’s quite a big deal. It’s pretty bloody expensive, though. It’s mind-boggling how much, actually.”
However in a follow-up statement on 29 July the band denied any impropriety in relation to obtaining permits for the firework display, insisting that – contrary to Bellamy’s earlier comments – no bribes had been paid.
The band's concert promoter in Italy Vivo Concerti said the firework license was granted by the competent authorities following a thorough procedure to verify that the pyrotechnics complied fully with safety standards.
The British embassy in Italy issued Wanted in Rome with the following statement: “We are aware of the interview with the Muse frontman Matt Bellamy, where he has commented on his contact with the British Embassy in Rome while on tour. We do not discuss conversations we may have had with individuals when they contact the British Embassy.”
Photo La Repubblica