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May 18, 2011

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Demolition likely for LV 'suitcase' advert box

THE landmark Louis Vuitton "suitcase" on Nanjing Road W. may be demolished within a week in a government crackdown on advertising sites launched yesterday.

The distinctive advertising box was built during the World Expo last year around the Plaza 66 shopping mall to conceal renovation work.

But a Shanghai Daily investigation has discovered that although it obtained permission from supervising authorities, it violates the city's 2008 regulations on outdoor advertising.

The regulations say that advertising facilities hanging on a building's outer walls must be no more than 9 meters high and 0.5 meters thick and must not endanger pedestrians.

However, the LV suitcase - as well as other advertising boxes currently being built - is more than 20 meters high and 4 meters thick.

Jing'an District government yesterday said that officials will work with law enforcement teams to check whether the LV advertising box and the boxes under construction nearby meet regulations on outdoor advertising.

Boxes in breach of the regulations must be modified or demolished within seven days, said officials.

The government also pledged to improve supervision of construction work at the plaza.

In the first stage of the crackdown, workers yesterday demolished advertising hoardings illegally erected on a greenery area around the Plaza 66 and started replanting trees and flowers.

Controversy already surrounds the advertising boxes currently being built, with residents claiming the work takes up too much sidewalk space, forcing pedestrians onto the road and creating a safety hazard.

A Shanghai Daily investigation also found these boxes don't yet have permission to advertise luxury brands.

But a question still hanging in the air is why the city's urban planning bureau and the greenery and public sanitation bureau gave the go-ahead for the huge suitcase when it appears to breach the dimensions of such structures.

An official, surnamed Zhao, with greenery and public sanitation bureau refused to answer the question yesterday.

At Louis Vuitton, an official, surnamed Tan told Shanghai Daily the suitcase has all necessary permission, but that the firm would modify it if required to do so.


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