Louis Vuitton Moscow Exhibit Canceled
Last week we reported that the massive Louis Vuitton exhibition set to be inaugurated in Moscow last week was the the subject of a political bruhaha as Communist Party representatives and other officials expressed outrage at the showcase. As a result of the outrage, the huge Louis Vuitton suitcase set up in Moscow's Red Square is being dismantled. The exhibition's launch party, originally scheduled for Friday, has also been canceled.
Russian retail center GUM said on Wednesday it had "informed the Russian representatives of Louis Vuitton of the need to immediately remove the pavilion," which was supposed to house an exhibition about the French luxury house from Dec. 2 to Jan. 19.
"However, in the opinion of some members of the public, the size of the exhibition pavilion turned out to exceed acceptable limits. Out of respect for public opinion, the exhibition structure began to be dismantled on Nov. 27, 2013," GUM said in the second of two statements issued Wednesday.
"In light of the present situation, GUM has made the decision that it is inappropriate to carry out the planned celebrations for a small group of invited guests, and will 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," it said.
"I'm sure it's good for the brand, but to the average person, it feels like nothing's sacred anymore," said Sylvie Ilyasova, a young woman who like many people passing by was taking a picture with her smartphone. "Even Red Square is for sale."
A spokeswoman for Louis Vuitton said the brand received no official order to move from Red Square and that it had obtained all the proper authorizations in advance.
The exhibition was going to spotlight 25 famous personalities accompanied on their journeys by Vuitton luggage. It was to be the latest in several high profile events to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the GUM retail center. Proceeds from the exhibit were going to be donated to the Naked Heart Foundation, a children's charity created by Natalia Vodianova. The Russian model is expecting a child with Antoine Arnault, the son of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault.
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