(ANSA) - Rome, July 13 - A recently formed bipartisan committee seeking to protect Rome's historic Cinecitta' film studios from a sell-off held a press conference on Friday following a week of protests by beleaguered studio workers. Cinecitta' studios were once known as Hollywood on the Tiber and were the location for masterpieces like Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita and Satyricon and international blockbusters like Ben Hur (1959). Center-left Democratic Party (PD) Senator Robert Morassut said at a press conference on Friday, alongside centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) Senator Fabio Rampelli that "Cinecitta' has been repeatedly exposed to changes, but has always managed to avoid a negative destiny. We are here to prevent that this immense wealth be sold off or converted into a shopping center or hotel". A clutch of French directors including Claude Lelouch, Coline Serreau and Bertrand Tavernier along with Costantinos Costa Gravas has also sounded in with a letter of appeal to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Premier Mario Monti.