LATEST: Italian-American actor Robert De Niro has opened the first exhibition in Rome of his late father's paintings - to make peace with Italy after he was accused of perpetuating "negative stereotypes" of his countrymen.

The star was denounced for damaging Italy's image by playing gangsters in movies like The Godfather and Shark Tale and then went on to avoid the country, cancelling appointments with Italian officials in October (04) and failing to attend the Tribeca Film Festival in Rome.

But he impressed Italian authorities by attending last weekend's (11-12DEC04) gala inauguration of paintings by his father - also named ROBERT DE NIRO - which celebrate the country's culture and was attended by a host of Italian celebrities.

Italian newspaper CORRIE RE DELLA SERA reports plans to award De Niro honorary Italian citizenship are back on the agenda.

13/12/2004 14:03