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article imageOp-Ed: Moscow tells Louis Vuitton to pack his suitcase and move

By Karen Graham     Nov 29, 2013 in Entertainment
While art may be in the eye of the beholder, when it is so huge and well, big and brown, it may be looked on as an eyesore. And for many Muscovites, the suitcase sitting in Red Square, so close to Lenin's Tomb, is nothing less than a sacrilege.
French designer Louis Vuitton has been asked to dismantle an enormous suitcase erected two weeks ago in Red Square as a pavilion to house an exhibit called "The Soul of Traveling." The exhibit was to host a collection of the designer's luggage for the next six weeks.
The 30-foot high, 100-foot long boxy brown suitcase, stenciled with the iconic LV trademark design was erected to go along with the 150th anniversary celebration of GUM Department Store, across from the Kremlin facing Red Square. According to Louis Vuitton, the steamer trunk construction is a copy of a model owned by a Russian noble, Prince Vladimir Orlov.
Regardless of who may have owned one just like it, most politicians and residents of the city think the suitcase is "tacky," and an eyesore. The Kremlin was inundated with complaints, as well as the department store, with many people wanting to know who had authorized the building of the structure.
The Russian people feel the same way about Red Square, the Kremlin, and the Tomb of Vladimir Lenin, as Americans do about the Statue of Liberty, The Lincoln Memorial and the Grand Canyon. So it's no wonder Muscovites have been upset. It would be like going to visit the Statue of Liberty and seeing her holding a big, brown suitcase.
Finding out who had authorized, or given permission for the suitcase to be erected on Red Square is like looking for a needle in a hay-stack. No one felt compelled to take responsibility for the blasphemous structure, and who could blame them?
Without anyone 'fessing up, the presidential administration took matters into their own hands and said the suitcase had to go immediately, and that was all it took. A GUM spokesman quickly issued a statement saying, " We have informed the Russian representatives of Louis Vuitton of the need to immediately dismantle the pavilion. We will also take immediate steps to remove any annoying effects of the Louis Vuitton pavilion."
At least the movers will have removed the offending steamer trunk well before the start of the New Years celebrations in Moscow. It wouldn't do to have a suitcase impeding the revelry when the New Year comes calling.
People walk past a Louis Vuitton pavilion which is in the shape of a giant suitcase  as the St. Basi...
People walk past a Louis Vuitton pavilion which is in the shape of a giant suitcase, as the St. Basil's Cathedral (L) and the Spasskaya Tower are seen in the background, in central Moscow
With permission by Reuters / Tatyana Makeyeva
People walk past a Louis Vuitton pavilion shaped like a giant suitcase in central Moscow November 28...
People walk past a Louis Vuitton pavilion shaped like a giant suitcase in central Moscow November 28, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Tatyana Makeyeva
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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