Robert De Niro's Italian citizenship will still go ahead - despite angry opposition.The actor's bid to become an honorary Italian was thought to be in jeopardy after a US based pressure group officially complained to the Italian Prime Minister. The Sons of Italy - a lobby group for Italians living in America – are opposed to De Niro receiving the accolade because of his portrayal ofItalians as violent criminals in his movies, such as 'Goodfellas'.The group's president, Joseph Sciame, said at the time: "I urge the Italian Republic to cancel proposals to give citizenship to Robert De Niro. He has done nothing to promote the image of Italians. He has damaged their image by constantly playing criminal roles that tarnish their reputation." However, the presentation of the honour will still go ahead - although it will no longer take place this week at the Venice Film Festival.Instead, the citizenship will be bestowed by Italian Culture Minister Giuliano Urbani in Rome next month.

The actor is eligible for the citizenship as his great-grandparents emigrated to America from Italy over 100 years ago.

De Niro's Italian movie characters have included boxer Jake La Motta in 'Raging Bull', gangster Jimmy Conway in 'Goodfellas' and Mafia boss Paul Vitti in 'Analyse This'.

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