MOSCOW — A giant Louis Vuitton suitcase constructed in Moscow’s Red Square, as part of an exhibition called “The Soul of Travel,” to marking Vuitton’s 150th anniversary has gone down, well, like a lead balloon. So much so the exhibit which opened yesterday, has already been given the boot.
In collaboration with the GUM department store on Red Square, Louis Vuitton was responsible for 30-feet high, and 100-feet long construction, and in a public statement said it was a copy of a model owned by a Russian noble, Prince Vladimir Orlov.
But Politicians and the public alike condemned the exhibit, a stone’s throw from the tomb of communist leader Vladimir Lenin – with State news agencies reporting that even the Kremlin had demanded the removal of the display.
“This is a sacred place for the Russian state,” said Sergei Obukhov, a member of the Communist Party Central Committee. “There are some symbols that cannot be trivialized or denigrated.”
Louis Vuitton said the enormous suitcase—which first appeared in Moscow nearly two weeks ago—has deep ties to Russia’s history, as it is modeled after “a trunk which once belonged to Prince Wladimir Orloff,” and features his monogram “P.W.O.” in large letters on the front, using the 19th century spelling of the royal family member’s name.
“This exhibition is also a way for us to thank Russia for accompanying us for more than a century and a half,” the company said.
At Red Square on Tuesday, a Lenin impersonator who poses for tourist snapshots called the suitcase an “embarrassment.”
In a statement released Wednesday both Luis Vuitton and the department store promised it would be dismantled immediately.
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