A Russian Orthodox Church spokesman decried the installation, to be affixed to the 21st floor of a skyscraper, as a ‘symbol of the triumph of evil’
The Eye of Sauron hovers over Mount Doom in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s the Lord of the Rings. PR Photograph: PR
The Russian Orthodox Church has warned of dire consequences for Moscow if plans proceed for a skyscraper light installation modeled on the all-seeing evil eye at the centre of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy novels.
A property company plans to raise what resembles a giant glowing eye on the 21st floor of a skyscraper this week to celebrate the release of the final part of Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation of The Hobbit.
In The Hobbit and also in Tolkien’s subsequent trilogy, Lord of the Rings, the Eye of Sauron is a giant flaming eye controlled by the “dark lord” Sauron, which allows him to watch anyone who puts on the fateful, power-giving ring at the novels’ center.
The installation is planned as a 1 metre (3.3 foot) sphere on top of a 21 storey building, with a light show projected from behind to create a 3-D effect, said Polina Murova, a spokeswoman for the property company behind the stunt.
But for the Russian Orthodox Church, the evil eye is no fiction.
“This is a demonic symbol,” the Russian Orthodox Church’s head of public affairs, Vsevolod Chaplin, told Govorit Moskva radio station.
“Such a symbol of the triumph of evil is 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.”
The eye is due to be switched on Thursday evening and to remain lit for seven hours, the property company that owns the tower, Hals Development, announced, saying it was designed by a group of designers called Svecheniye, or Radiance.
Murova insisted the project was “not a promotion” for the film and that the designers were simply fans who had approached the company with the idea.
Whether divine intervention was involved was unclear, but forecasts of heavy snowfall were threatening to scupper the project, Murova said.
Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the final installment of his three-part version of Tolkien’s book, stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins.
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