Giant Lv Trunk Ordered Off Red Square

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In Moscow's Red Square, tourists and locals got quite a shock recently from a giant Louis Vuitton suitcase -- I mean a really big one, two stories high -- smack dab in the middle. In fact, a lot of people were outraged by what they saw as crass commercialism. It now appears the suitcase has been ordered taken down.

The enormous LV trunk was something you couldn't miss even at a distance. It was meant to be remain on Red Square until January 15. But a fence surrounding the structure by late Wednesday suggested it was being dismantled.

The structure was designed to house an exhibit to honor 150th anniversary of Louis Vuitton as well as the 120th anniversary of the adjacent GUM department store. Money raised would be sent to the charity fund for Russian sick children. But many tourists and Russians were more angered than pleased by its prescence.

SOUNDBITE (RUSSIAN): EGOR, Visitor from Yekaterinburg

"Of course it spoils everything. Why have they installed it here? We don't need it all. The scene is beautiful without it. Here we have GUM, so why do we have to observe this box? I really don't understand."

The construction was a big copy of luggage once owned by Russian Prince Vladimir Orlov. But some found it insulting to put it so close to the tomb of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. And preservationists say they couldn't bear such a commercial display at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

SOUNDBITE (RUSSIAN) LENA, Moscow student

"I could say I am OK with it, but the fact that it has been installed on the Red Square... We don't like it, as it is a place of great memory for us. It is a beautiful construction, but not here."

In fact, temporary structures are often erected in Red Square, including horseback riding rings, grandstands for musical performances, and an ice rink installed every winter.

But the two-story trunk, measuring nine metres in height by 30 metres in length, proved to be a step too far.
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Producer : Xinhua News Agency

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