Louis Vuitton ordered to move exhibition

Thursday, 28 November 2013
The Louis Vuitton 'L'Ame du Voyage' exhibition is being dismantled and removed from Red Square, following a series of out cries that the huge trunk was 'disproportionate' and an visible offense to the Lenin's Tomb, Saint Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin. It will either be moved to Gorky Park in Moscow or the VDNKh (All-Russia Exhibition Centre), a new venue has yet to be confirmed.

On Wednesday Alexand Sidyakin, a member of the Duma, filed a complaint and called for an investigation, arguing that the exhibit was too big and violated Russia's advertising laws. Communist deputy for the Duma, Sergey Obukhov claimed that the trunk “defiled a sacred place for the Russian government.”GUM luxury mall, who collaborated with Louis Vuitton to create the exhibition in honor of its 120th anniversary, issued a number of statements on its website concerning the exposition.

GUM calls for the immediate removal of the Louis Vuitton trunk

At first the luxury mall stated that 'after its installation, the appearance of the pavilion Louis Vuitton exhibition received mixed reaction from Muscovites. The opinion of people is a primary factor in the daily activities of GUM. Thus, given the position of the society, as well as what in fact has exceeded permissible construction hall agreed dimensions, we requested that the Russian representative of Louis Vuitton begin the immediate dismantling of the pavilion, and also make every effort to remove any irritants effects associated with Louis Vuitton exhibition pavilion in the shortest possible time.'

Later GUM posted a second statement that stated although the exhibition was set to open on the 1st of December, due to the 'opinion of the society, the scale of the exhibition pavilion in fact proved disproportionate acceptable standards' and it would 'change the format of the event into an open public holiday set among the New Year's decorations of GUM's departments, a New Year's gift market of handmade Russian crafts, and the beloved traditional ice rink on Red Square.'

Today GUM added that its ice skating rink would open on the 1st of December to celebrate the official start of winter, alongside its 120th anniversary. The luxury mall did add that all proceeds from its ice skating rink ticket sales would to go the charity fund “Naked Heart,” as Natalia Vodianova, a fashion model and the head of the charity was previously set to receive a donation from the tickets sold to the exhibition.

Louis Vuitton has not responded or commented yet about the immediate removal of its exhibition from Red Square. While a number of elderly Russian still line up to pay their respects and visit Bolshevik leader Lenin tomb may be relieved to see the materialistic exhibition go, many young Russians are upset to see the Louis Vuitton trunk go. Many point out that with a luxury mall on one side, calling the square a 'sacred place' may be a little over the top. Young Russian Natalia commented, “I'm sad too. This situation is really strange, I think there are too many discussions."

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