The public in Australia is angry over controversial plans to use the Sydney Opera House as a "billboard". Tens of thousands of people signed a petition to block plans to project an advertisement for the Everest Cup horse race onto the white sails of the Opera House. The race is the richest in the world. The decision to use the Opera House for the ad has the support of Australia's Prime Minister. He said: "It's not like they're painting it on there....It's lights flashing up there for a brief moment of time....I don't understand why we tie ourselves up in knots about these things."
The former chief of the Opera House said the decision to advertise on the world-famous landmark was "inappropriate and offensive". He said: "I find it extraordinary...politicians...have somehow decided that this is in the interests of Sydney...or Australia to corrupt the...art integrity of the building." The son of Peter Hall, the architect who helped complete the Opera House, said: "My father would have been sickened by it....He would not have condoned advertising on the building in any way. Lucky he's not around to see the desecration of our beautiful, iconic masterpiece."