Exodus: Gods and Kings has been banned in Egypt because of what censors described as “historical inaccuracies”.
The head of the censorship board said these included the film’s depiction of Jews as having built the Pyramids, and that an earthquake, not a miracle by Moses, caused the Red Sea to part.
Exodus: Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses.
There have also been reports that the film is banned in Morocco.
Although the state-run Moroccan Cinema Centre (CCM) had given the film the green light, Moroccan business website Medias24.com said that officials had decided to ban the movie from being screened the day before its premiere.
According to the book of Exodus, Jewish slaves were led to freedom by Moses after God inflicted a series of plagues on Egypt.
The Pyramids are believed to have been built about 1,000 years before the story of the Exodus.
The Biblical story tells how the Red Sea was parted by a miracle performed by God through Moses, allowing the Jewish people to escape from the pursuing Egyptian army.
Exodus: Gods and Kings, which cost a reported $140 million to make, took $24.5 million on its debut weekend.
The Biblical epic overtook the third installment of The Hunger Games, following three weeks at number one. However, it has had mixed reviews.
The film’s opening fell well short of other modern Biblical films, including Darren Aronofsky’s Noah which took $43.7 million on its opening weekend in March and 2004’s The Passion of the Christ, which took $83.3 million.
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Venice Mayor Giorgio Orsoni is among 35 people arrested in Italy over alleged corruption in connection with new flood barriers built to protect the city.
Giorgio Orsoni and dozens of officials and businessmen are being held over claims of bribery during the public tender process of the Moses project.
Seventy-eight mobile barriers will be used to shut off Venice lagoon in the event of rising sea levels and storms.
Venice is continuing to sink and is hit by flooding on a yearly basis.
Construction of the barriers began 11 years ago but has been hampered by delays in funding due to Italy’s economic crisis.
Mayor Giorgio Orsoni and dozens of officials and businessmen are being held over claims of bribery during the public tender process of the Moses project in Venice
Once finished, the floodgates will extend more than a mile, blocking the three inlets to the lagoon.
Investigators are looking into allegations that 20 million euros ($27 million) in public funds was sent to foreign bank accounts and used to finance political parties, according to reports.
Giorgio Orsoni, 67, has been placed under house arrest while he is investigated for corruption, extortion and money laundering, Italy’s Ansa news agency reports.
His lawyers say the allegations against him are “hardly credible”, according to AFP news agency.
Prosecutors have also requested the arrest of a former governor of the Venice region, Giancarlo Galan, an ally of former PM Silvio Berlusconi.
Giancarlo Galan, who is currently protected by parliamentary immunity, launched the so-called Moses project – or The Experimental Electromechanical Module (MOSE) – in 2003 with Silvio Berlusconi.
Among those detained on Wednesday as part of the three year-long corruption inquiry are the regional head of the ruling Democratic Party, Giampiero Marquis, regional councillor for infrastructure Renato Chisso, and the president of a co-operative involved in the long-running project, reports say.
Some 100 other people are also said to be under investigation.
The operation comes after the arrest of Giovanni Mazacurati, the former head of the consortium building the barriers, over alleged contract rigging last year.
The massive Moses scheme has reportedly cost some 5.4 billion euros ($7.4 billion) and was due for completion this year but has been repeatedly hit by delays.
Some Venetians argue the project is a waste of money and there is no guarantee it will work.
In 1966, some 5,000 people were left homeless when flood levels in the city reached 6ft, causing immense damage.