A giant iPhone monument to Apple founder Steve Jobs is now up for auction in Russia, after the monument was removed from its home at a St Petersburg university last month following an announcement that Apple’s current CEO Tim Cook is gay.
Maxim Dolgopolov, head of ZEFS, the company who installed the monument on the St Petersburg campus, said today that the bidding would begin at 5 million roubles ($95,000).
“The company decided to hold an auction on the basis of voting results from a forum. About half of the respondents were opposed to the return of the monument,” Dolgopolov announced.
Dolgopolov said that the monument would be sold only so long as it is removed from Russia, and that proceeds from the auction are used for scholarships for Russian IT developers. He added that the monument was also inappropriate because of Edward Snowden’s claim that Apple products illegally transmit data about their owners to US intelligence.
Following Cook’s announcement, the monument was taken down for supposedly promoting homosexuality among minors, something that has been a criminal offence in Russia since the introduction of the anti-gay propaganda law in 2013.