An iPhone statue and memorial to late Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs has been dismantled in Russia after his successor, Tim Cook, came out publicly as gay. The 74-inch interactive monument was erected at a St. Petersburg technical university, according to a Reuters report. The statue was dismantled and removed by the company Western European Financial Union, or ZEFS, which erected it last year.
The giant iPhone was made out of glass and metal, and displayed biographical details about Jobs’ life at the State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics in St. Petersburg. It also acted as a wi-fi hotspot and could withstand sub-zero temperatures, according to ZEFS.
Tim Cook wrote that he was “proud to be gay” in a Bloomberg essay, but ZEFS CEO Maksim Dolgopolov called Cook's coming out “a public call to sodomy.” ZEFS owns construction, advertising, and finance enterprises in St. Petersburg, according to the Washington Post.
“Russian legislation prohibits propaganda of homosexuality and other sexual perversions among minors,” Dolgopolov told Russian radio station Biznes-FM. “After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was dismantled pursuant to Russian federal law.”
The law has been condemned by critics as a means of repressing sexual minorities in the country. Ultraconservative lawmaker and anti-gay activist Vitaly Milonov said that Cook should be banned from Russia after the Apple CEO wrote that he considered “being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”
“What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there,” St. Petersburg city council member Vitaly Milonov told a Russian site on Thursday. “Ban him for life.”