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Kremlin Tells Louis Vuitton to Pack Up its Humongous Suitcase

A picture on social networks pokes fun at the monstrous bag as a Godzilla-like creature asks "Where's my suitcase?" Political Cartoon

The presidential administration has demanded the removal of a huge pavilion shaped like a Louis Vuitton suitcase that was built on Red Square earlier this month, an unidentified Kremlin official said Wednesday.

The pavilion, which is 9 meters high and 30 meters long, was erected next to the Kremlin to house a suitcase exhibition, "The Soul of Traveling," as part of the 120th anniversary of GUM department store, but it has infuriated lawmakers, architectural preservationist and the general public alike.

Vladimir Chernikov, who oversees advertising in Moscow, said that his department wasn't informed about plans to build the suitcase and has asked FAS to clarify the suitcase's status. If FAS says the suitcase is an advertising structure, it will be deconstructed within three days, he said, RIA Novosti reported. He expects FAS to makes a decision on Wednesday or Thursday.

However, it seems that the presidential administration has already taken matters into its own hands and has said that the suitcase needs to disappear quickly.

"The presidential administration did not agree to the construction of the pavilion on Red Square," the unidentified official said, Interfax reported.

The exhibition was set to run from Monday to Jan. 19., but the suitcase has provoked anger across the board with even GUM telling Louis Vuitton to get rid of the suitcase immediately.

"Considering the attitude in sections of society and the fact that the pavilion's dimensions exceeded the approved limits, we have informed the Louis Vuitton's Russian office that it must immediately dismantle the pavilion," GUM said.

It is illegal to erect advertising structures on sites included on UNESCO's world cultural heritage list, and Red Square is one such site, Chernikov said. Furthermore, a federal law passed in 1998 forbids the construction of any new objects on Red Square that detract from its "historical appearance."

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