Sorry, Moscow, No 'Eye of Sauron' for You
'Demonic' glowing eye on top of skyscraper nixed after church protest
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2014 12:45 PM CST
Updated Dec 14, 2014 12:40 PM CST
Real-life "Eye of Sauron" was supposed to open up over a Moscow skyscraper tower.   (PressResetEarth)

(Newser) – "Sadly, we are obliged to halt the Eye of Sauron" is both the best line from a press release you'll read all week and the worst. Russian creative art group Svecheniye has halted a "fan project" that would have placed a menacing, pulsing eye like the one featured in the Lord of the Rings movies smack in the middle of Moscow's business district, the BBC reports. The glowing 3.3-foot orb (complete with a 3D light show behind it) was originally scheduled to be turned on either Wednesday or Thursday on the 21st floor of one of the Moscow International Business Center towers to celebrate The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, notes the Guardian. But someone—specifically, the Russian Orthodox Church—had a major problem with it.

"This is a demonic symbol," the church's head of public affairs reportedly told a local radio station. "Such a symbol of the triumph of evil is rising up over the city, becoming practically the highest object in the city. … Don't be surprised later if something goes wrong with the city." He also called the eye a representation of Satan, Business Insider adds. Although Svecheniye said in a press release there was no "religious or political subtext" behind the ocular art installation, it said it was sorry for having "elicited such a public reaction." One reader of a local newspaper thinks the church's complaint just ensures that "magic, sorcery, and witchcraft will gain even more public attention," while another reader has an alternate destination for Sauron's gaze: "The roof of the US Embassy's the best place for it." (What's the church afraid of? There's even a dinosaur named after the Eye of Sauron.)