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'Eye of Sauron' finally appears in Moscow sky

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The Tolkien-inspired ‘Eye of Sauron’ eventually lit up Moscow’s sky, following public controversy and opposition from the Orthodox Church. Having taken a virtual form, the image can be seen through the lens of a smartphone or tablet.

The evil eye appeared exactly where it was first planned to be installed, on top of a skyscraper in the Moscow City business area, a stone’s throw away from the country’s government office. The symbol, which has sparked controversy among Muscovites, is hidden from bare eyes; to see it, one needs a smartphone or tablet.

The Russian company GiveAR, which creates augmented reality projects by using real-world objects supplemented with computer generated input, created a special code which can be used by those curious to see the Eye of Sauron.

The Eye of Sauron, ‘Oko Saurona’ in Russian, sparked a debate in Moscow and beyond, on whether it would bring real trouble to the Russian capital. It was among the trending worldwide topics on Twitter this week.

An installation of the Eye of Sauron was first planned to appear in the city to celebrate the premiere of the latest Hobbit movie, but was labeled a “demonic symbol” by the Russian Orthodox Church. Over 1,500 people signed a petition to Moscow authorities, asking for it to be banned.

“Pictures of it will spread around the world, linking Putin to Sauron, Russia to Mordor, and Russians to orks,” activists said, adding that all Tolkien fans could install as many eyes as they wanted, wherever they wanted. “In their dachas, for example.”

“It took the Fellowship of the Ring three books and three films to take down the Eye of Sauron. The Russian Church needed just a couple of days,” some people joked on Twitter, reacting to the controversy.

In the end, the virtual eye became more friendly than originally planned. With just one click, it can be transformed into a Christmas tree.

“We’ve satisfied interests of both Hobbit fans, who yearned to see a piece of their favorite fairytale in the real world and haven’t hurt the feelings of believers…” GiveAR said on social media.


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