Bidding closed for Cinecitta

Studio home to more than 1,000 productions

ROME -- Bidding closed Friday for the Italian government's 49% stake in the historic Cinecitta film studio outside Rome.

There was no immediate word on how many bids -- if any -- were submitted. But the government has said that current shareholders would be given precedence if they submitted bids, meaningthat film producer Aurelio De Laurentiis and billionaire businessman Diego della Valle could have the inside track if they decide to up their stakes.

The 71-year-old studio has been home to more than 1,000 film productions during its long history, including such epics as "Ben Hur" and "Quo Vadis."