Actor Robert De Niro is to be given honorary Italian citizenship.
12:22 20 August 2004
Legendary actor Robert De Niro is to be presented with honorary Italian citizenship at a film festival next month.
The star of classic movies like the Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver and Mean Streets has been lined up for the honour by the Italian government.
De Niro has played a number of Italian-American characters during his career and even delivered monologues in fluent Italian in Godfather Part II.
However, Italian-American groups have been angered by the news, claiming that De Niro has helped to reinforce a stereotypical view of Italian immigrants.
"He has done nothing to promote Italian culture in the United States," a spokesman for Sons of Italy in America said.
De Niro has often played mafia roles in films like Casino, Goodfellas, Once Upon a Time in America, as well as the second Godfather movie.