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Cecchi Gori dealt latest blow

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After a long battle to remain afloat in the face of mounting financial difficulties, the holding company that controls Italy's troubled Cecchi Gori Group declared bankruptcy this past week, the latest bad news in a 10-year-long downward slide for what had been one of Italy's best known film companies (HR 10/25).

Group chairman Vittorio Cecchi Gori renewed his promise to rebuild the fortunes of the company founded by his father, Mario Cecchi Gori, who died in 1993.

"I will fight with all my strength to expose the injustices I have been (subjected) to in these last years," Cecchi Gori said in a statement. "I may even die poor, but at least it will be as an honest and respectable person."

Cecchi Gori said the decision from the court was "unexpected and unexplainable" since the company was in the process of renegotiating terms with its major creditors.

For years, Cecchi Gori was one of the dominant players in the Italian media and entertainment sector, with stakes in the television, film production, distribution and exhibition sectors. At its peak, it produced a dozen films a year, including such critically acclaimed blockbusters as "Il Postino" and "Life Is Beautiful."

In an Oct. 25 statement, Cecchi Gori Group said that its operations will continue normally.

The company said that while the financial problems with holding company Finmavi SpA were real, they had no connection with day-to-day operations.