The Russian Orthodox Church has succeeded in shutting down a giant "Eye of Sauron" installation on top of a Moscow tower intended to promote the Hobbit movie trilogy.
The exhibit would have featured a giant red eye as a symbol of Sauron, the evil lord of the Middle Earth, on top of one of Moscow's new skyscrapers. It would have been launched Wednesday night as Moscow gets ready for the premiere of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the latest movie of the saga of the Ring.
The conservative Orthodox church didn't like it one bit. The Russian state-funded broadcaster RT writes that the church's spokesperson, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, took to Govorit Moskva radio to say: "such a symbol of triumphant evil rising above Moscow and becoming one of the tallest objects in the city … is it good or bad? I am afraid it's mostly bad. One shouldn't be surprised if something goes wrong with the city after that." He went on to call the eye a symbol of Satan.
The piece of art would have measured 1 meter in diameter and would have been put on the roof of the "IQ-quarter" complex in Moscow International Business Center "Moscow-City."
In the novel from J.R.R. Tolkien, the red eye symbolizes the evil lord's wish to control everything, an allusion that many critics link to state surveillance.