'Da Vinci Code' a blessing for chapel

March 2, 2008 at 8:08 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 2 (UPI) -- For a historic Scottish chapel, an appearance in "The Da Vinci Code" book and movie has meant a lot of pennies from heaven.

Only 30,000 visitors made their way to Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh in 2000. In 2006 and 2007, there were 176,000, The Scotsman reports.

The steady stream of Da Vinci fans willing to pay 7 pounds ($14) for admission has given the chapel a surplus of 1.35 million pounds ($2.7 million). The money is being used to speed up an expensive renovation project, which includes a new visitor center.

Colin Glynne-Percy, the director of the chapel, said there are signs that the tide has begun to recede. But he says that the renovations will now be completed within five years, a span that would have been much longer without the influx of cash.

Author Dan Brown made the chapel the resting place of the Holy Grail, putting his own spin on the patterns carved on a series of 213 stone cubes.

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