Torchlight protest at racing ad on Sydney Opera House

10 October, 2018, 08:09 | Author: Rachel Mcdaniel
  • The Sydney Opera House was lit up with a controversial advertisement for a major horse race on October 9 despite days of fierce public backlash over the commercialisation of the iconic landmark

The controversy overshadowing Saturday's lucrative The Everest race meeting took another twist with betting on the feature race suspended until the barrier draw was released to the public due to risks of a security breach.

More than 1000 protesters disrupted the controversial Everest horse race illumination at the Sydney Opera House last night.

More than 265,000 people have signed a petition protesting the use of the Opera House to promote the event.

Alan Jones has this morning apologised on his 2GB Breakfast show for comments he made in an interview with Opera House CEO Louise Herron last week. Jones' response to Herron arguing the Opera House is "not a billboard" was: "Who said?"

As a result, betting for The Everest was suspended until the results of the draw were beamed onto the shells of Sydney Opera House on Tuesday night.

Since the NSW Government directed the Opera House to allow the promotional material on racing to be projected, the backlash over the decision has reached a boiling point.

Protesters hold up signs outside the Sydney Opera House as it is lit up with advertising for the upcoming Everest Cup horse race
Protesters hold up signs outside the Sydney Opera House as it is lit up with advertising for the upcoming Everest Cup horse race

Mr Greenwich said he would move a motion in parliament to amend the Sydney Opera House Trust Act to "stop the culture of a minister picking up the phone on behalf of his mates in the racing industry and telling the Opera House what to do".

Almost 3000 people are also expected to attend a protest at that time to disrupt the Everest projection with torches and mobile phone lights.

"Unless for a specific artistic goal in relation to Sydney Opera House, text or slogans will not be permitted", the policy reads.

The Facebook post also had images of the Sydney Opera house superimposed with text and images touting Melbourne's superiority over the harbour city.

The NSW Heritage Council, an adviser to the government on heritage issues, said it was disappointed with the government's decision to turn the "international architectural masterpiece" into a billboard. The guidelines have always been stretched in the part and the commercialisation of the Opera House has always been there.

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