A giant iPhone monument was removed from a university campus in St Petersburg, Russia, possibly for fear that it went against Russia’s ban on homosexual propaganda to minors after Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as a gay man.
On Monday, conflicting reports about the monument, a tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs, emerged in Russian media.
In a statement, ZEFS, which according to its website owns construction, advertising, and finance enterprises in St. Petersburg, describes Tim Cook’s revelation “a public call to sodomy.”
ZEFS said Monday it was taking down the statue because it violated Russia’s controversial law protecting minors from homosexual propaganda.
The law has been condemned by critics as a means of repressing sexual minorities in the country. This incident came on the heels of a prominent St Petersburg lawmaker, and original sponsor of the legislation that inspired Russia’s gay propaganda ban, declaring that Cook should be banned from Russia because he is gay.
Apple products are wildly popular among Russia’s jet set. Many pay thousands of dollars to get the new iPhone the day they go on sale in the United States and Europe because there is no Apple Store here. Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev is an ardent Apple fan and was recently photographed with a new iPhone 6.