The Kremlin on Wednesday ordered the removal from Red Square of a giant Louis Vuitton trunk whose presence in the heart of Russia's capital had unleashed a wave of criticism.
"The construction of this pavillion was not agreed to with the Office of the President of Russia," a high-level Kremlin official told the Interfax news agency.
The Louis Vuitton pavillion in the shape of a giant trunk was built to mark the 120th anniversary of the GUM shopping center, located across from the Kremlin on one side of Red Square.
The GUM media relations department issued a statement shortly after the Kremlin official spoke with Interfax, saying that the French luxury goods company's Moscow office had been advised of the "need to immediately dismantle" the unpopular pavillion.
The venue was dismantled due to the negative reaction of some members of society to its presence on Red Square and the fact that its size exceeded what was originally agreed to, GUM said.
Louis Vuitton created the giant trunk as part of a charity event, GUM said.
"The Louis Vuitton company builds a trunk in the middle of Moscow, on our most important plaza. This cannot be!" the leader of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said.
Commercial structures like the Vuitton pavillion do not belong on historic Red Square, Russian Federation Civic Chamber member Konstantin Mikhailov said.
"Thousands of people go there precisely to see Red Square and not a pavillion of a famous company," Mikhailov told the Gazeta.Ru news Web site. EFE