Plans to unveil an art installation inspired by The Lord Of The Rings has been scrapped after members of the Russian Orthodox Church launched a campaign against it.
Creators at art collective Svechenie had planned to light a hologram of the Eye of Sauron over skyscrapers in Moscow, Russia on Thursday (11Dec14) to celebrate the release of the final movie in The Hobbit franchise, which stars Martin Freeman.
The proposal was met with criticism from the religious group as the giant flaming eyeball, notably seen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is a symbol for dark, evil lord Sauron.
Vsevolod Chaplin, a spokesperson for the church, told a local radio station, "Such a symbol of the triumph of evil rising up over the city, becoming practically the highest object in the city. Is that good or bad? I'm afraid it's more likely bad. Just don't be surprised later if something goes wrong with the city."
An online petition was created to campaign against the installation, and a spokesperson for Svechenie announced on Wednesday (10Dec14) they had scrapped the project.
A message on Facebook.com reads, "We did not expect that the fan campaign, attracted wide media attention and millions of fans of John R. R. Tolkien, will cause a similar reaction from the public (sic)... The project has no religious and political overtones... (we) want to make sincere apologies for the situation."