Russian Orthodox Church defeats “evil” Lord of the Rings art installation

A glowing 'Eye of Sauron' was to be installed on a Moscow skyscraper until complaints forced organisers to abandon plans

A Moscow art group has ditched plans to install a huge glowing eye on a city skyscraper following complaints from the Russian Orthodox Church. 


The Svecheniye (Glow) group had planned to display the Lord of the Rings-inspired eye on a building in the business district as a tribute to the final film in Peter Jackson’s adaptations of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy works. The Eye of Sauron (the primary antagonist in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) would have been a metre wide, and glowed overnight to commemorate the premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – but now the plans have been scrapped.

“Sadly we are obliged to halt the Eye of Sauron,” Svecheniye says in a press statement reported by RIA Novosti news agency, also apologising for having “elicited such a public reaction.”

The main opponent to the project was the Russian Orthodox Church, who condemned the installation.

 “This is a demonic symbol,” the Russian Orthodox Church’s head of public affairs, Vsevolod Chaplin, told Govorit Moskva radio station according to The Telegraph.

 “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.”

In their statement, Svecheniye stressed that the project was in no way affiliated with official press for the upcoming Hobbit film, “nor did it have a religious or political subtext.”

Clearly when it comes to ambitious fan art projects, one does not simply walk into Moscow either.


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is in cinemas tomorrow (12th December)