Giant Louis Vuitton trunk ordered off Red Square
MOSCOW, Russia – French luxury brand Louis Vuitton has been ordered to remove a giant trunk put up on Moscow's iconic Red Square, organisers said on Wednesday, November 27, after it triggered outrage among some Russians.
The boxy brown suitcase covered with the brand's signature "LV" stencilling was put up 10 days ago just outside GUM, a 19th century department store that faces the square.
But Russia's Communist Party was outraged by its proximity to Lenin's tomb, while tourists and ordinary Russians complained it was so big it blocked views of most landmark sites.
On Wednesday, the store said it had asked Louis Vuitton to take down the pavilion, as a Kremlin source told Russian news agencies the gigantic structure was "not agreed with the presidential administration".
"Considering the view of some of the public, and the fact that the pavilion's size has surpassed the agreed parameters, we told Louis Vuitton about the need to immediately dismantle the pavilion," GUM said on its website.
The formal street address of both the Lenin Mausoleum and the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, the Red Square is by far the most heavily policed spot in Russia and officially under the Kremlin's jurisdiction.
The two-storey trunk was designed to house an exhibit about travellers who used the brand's luggage in the past.
Some media, however, viewed it as a symbol of modern Russia where corruption made anything possible -- even putting up giant luxury advertisements on the symbolic square without asking Muscovites.
Moscow City Hall officials also told Interfax that organisers were preparing to dismantle the installation, calling it a "mistake."
The Kremlin's Office of Presidential Affairs, which oversees Red Square, said it had nothing to do with the trunk.
"The GUM (store) dealt with the permission issues. We had nothing to do with it," spokesman Viktor Khrekov told AFP by telephone. — Rappler.com