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Robot Spider on Canadian Cathedral Drew Mixed Reactions

A giant robot spider became famous when it was used in a performance at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa, Ontario on July 27.

Named Kumo, the robotic spider was seen perched on the cathedral, then slowly descended to open the show of French street theater company La Machine. The show was in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Catholic News Agency reports.

The rector of the cathedral said that he and his staff anticipated that few might object to the use of the robot spider. However, they didn’t expect many would see it as sacrilegious or demonic. When they agreed to La Machine’s performance, they only had good intentions for the public.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast gave the necessary permissions for the theatrical performance. He said it was a way of giving back to the community of Ottawa.

“It offers an opportunity for the archdiocese, the Catholic community and Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica to cooperate with the city and the organizers to foster a positive relationship with the community at large,” the archbishop said.

The show started around 8:30 pm with thousands of people waiting for Kumo to “wake up” from the top of the cathedral. La Machine used acrobatics, live orchestra, and large cranes for the event.

While many enjoyed the performance, some criticized the Archdiocese of Ottawa for allowing a giant robotic spider to climb a cathedral. Some were shocked to see the mechanical creature and said it was “disrespectful to the house of God…using the spider as a prop,” Ottawa Citizen reports.

The rector of the cathedral said that he and his staff anticipated that few might object to the use of the robot spider. However, they didn’t expect many would see it as sacrilegious or demonic. When they agreed to La Machine’s performance, they only had good intentions for the public.

“I guess we thought people would see this as a sign the church is involved in Ottawa’s celebrations. Many people, both Catholic and others, English and Francophone, remarked how pleased they were that Notre Dame was involved in our celebration of Canada 150,” Archbishop Prendergast said.

Sources:
Catholicnewsagencycom. (2017). Catholic News Agency. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/why-this-giant-spider-was-hanging-out-at-an-ottawa-cathedral-82255/

Ottawacitizencom. (2017). Ottawa Citizen. http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/archbishop-defends-artistic-use-of-giant-spider-on-the-cathedral-as-part-of-la-machine

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