Archbishop surprised at complaints of giant robotic spider on Notre Dame church

The giant mechanical spider Kumo, created by French production company La Machine, is lowered in front of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica during a performance in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX3D81L
Photo credit: Reuters

A giant robotic spider that crawled down the side of the Notre Dame Basilica is receiving a backlash from Catholics, much to the surprise of the Archbishop.

The art installation was part of an exhibition featuring a robot spider and a robot dragon who walk around Ottawa interacting with buildings and traffic lights for four days. Eventually the two meet and battle each other.

Mechanical installations named "Long Ma" (R) and "The Spider" are operated at a rehearsal of the Long Ma performance in front of the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, in Beijing October 10, 2014. "Long Ma", a 17-meter (56-ft) long and 15-meter (49-ft) tall mechanized dragon sculpture, and "The Spider", a 5.7-meter (19-ft) tall and 6-meter (20-ft) wide machine, are operated by French performance art company La Machine. The structures are operated by an automatic control system and electronic equipment. The performance, which combines Chinese culture and French art, will be held next week in Beijing in honour of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, an organiser of the event said.   REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR49NI0
Photo credit: Reuters

Organisers approached the cathedral staff last year, asking if they could place the 40 tonne critter, named Kumo, on the building.

But several church-goers were shocked to see a giant spider perched on top of their place of worship, with some critics calling it "sacrilegious" and "demonic".

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast says while he anticipated some objection, he thought it "would be minimal".

 "To those who were shocked - I understand that this would have been upsetting for them and I regret that a well-intentioned effort to cooperate in a celebration was anything but that for them," he told Canadian Catholic News.