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Kiwi actor in hot water for naked haka at World Heritage site

June 11, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Fighting fit New Zealand actor Manu Bennett may face charges after a video was published on Instagram showing him performing a haka at a World Heritage historic site in Romania – stark naked.

Bennett, 49, is primarily known for portraying characters in epic fantasy works, such as Crixus in the TV series Spartacus, Allanon in The Shannara Chronicles, Slade Wilson / Deathstroke in Arrow, and Azog the Defiler in the Hobbit film trilogy.

Bennett was in Bucharest for the Comic Con show when he travelled to the Sarmizegetusa Regia – Unesco World Heritage Site in the ancient capital of Dacia, New Zealand news outlets are reporting.

Footage posted on Instagram shows him running towards an ancient stone circle in shorts, as rain falls, and then removing his shorts. While naked, he performs a haka – the Maori war chant made famous internationally by New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team.

Anyone wishing to view this, which is filmed at a respectful distance, can do so on the Instagram link at the end of this story.

The New Zealand Herald has quoted local police saying they received a complaint “that a man has stripped off and entered the Great Circular Temple” and they are preparing criminal charges.

Bennett performing an earlier naked haka at the Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland

Bennett told the Herald he apologised and did not understand warnings to stay away from the ruins as he does not speak Romanian.

Bennett also said his actions were in context with the World Heritage site’s ancient war history.

“It was very traditional for Maori warriors to go into battle naked,” Bennett explained.

Manu Bennett. Photo by Gage Skidmore

“All things have energy and to fight naked means to fight pure, as with haka.”

A naked haka is respectful, he contends, although locals do not always see it that way.

Sarmizegetusa Regia – Unesco World Heritage Site

Bennett has also been filmed performing another naked haka at the Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland.

Was his naked haka in Romania offensive? Judge for yourself below.

Written by Peter Needham in Paraparaumu, New Zealand

View this post on Instagram

We spotted @manubennett doing a naked Haka dance in the temple of #sarmizegetusa , the capital of ancient Dacia. #haka #hakadance #comiccon #romania #newzealand #comicconromania #crixus #manubennett #manubennettcomiccon #manubennettfans credit of finding out who that naked guy was goes to @tanja.zoellner Edit : at the time we shot the video, we did not know that this was @manubennett, as it all happened so fast. And as it clearly shows, my annoying giggling at the beginning instantly stopped the moment the Haka Dance started, as I was struck by how powerful it was, particularly within this context. None of us felt that this was disrespectful, and I believe the commotion with the guards was mainly because visitors were simply not allowed in the center of the temple, as it is a protected heritage, and not because of the Haka dance or the fact that @manubennett was naked. So we hope people who are sharing this story share it accurately without exaggeration and disrespect.

A post shared by Wass (@wassimelki) on

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