Tuesday 30 August 2016

Did Trinity College feature in a Super Bowl advert for the Church of Scientology?

Sasha Brady

Published 08/02/2016 | 17:53

The Long Room in Trinity College. Photo: Deposit/Jelle van der Wolf
The Long Room in Trinity College. Photo: Deposit/Jelle van der Wolf

A Super Bowl advert for the Church of Scientology featured a room which looked very similar to the Long Room in Trinity College's library.

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A Super Bowl advert for the Church of Scientology featured a room which looked very similar to the Long Room in Trinity College's library.

The advertisement aired during a break in the Super Bowl football game on American TV.

It featured a room which looks identical to the main chamber of the 18th century library in Trinity College, along with its distinctive marble busts and book shelves.

A scene from an advert from the Church of Scientology which aired during Sunday Night's Super Bowl in the US
A scene from an advert from the Church of Scientology which aired during Sunday Night's Super Bowl in the US

"The Long Room is a massive part of College's identity and is often featured on viral lists of the world's best or most beautiful libraries," said Matthew Mulligan of Trinity News.

"It's not impossible that a producer somewhere saw an unattributed image of the library and decided to mould it to fit the aesthetic of the video."

A lot of the details were diluted through the advert's blue lighting but the resemblance is uncanny.

A spokesperson for Trinity College said: "The image used in the advertisement for the Church of Scientology bears a strong resemblance to the 18th century library. 

"No permission was granted by Trinity College Dublin for its usage and it does not endorse it in this form of promotion. Contact is being made with the Church of Scientology on the matter."

A spokesperson for the Church of Scientology advised Independent.ie that the library interior is a set constructed by their own crew.

It's not the first time the library's image has sparked controversy.

In 2002, a row erupted after a report in the University Record suggested central scenes in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones take place in a library, the 'Jedi Archives', which resembled the TCD Long Room.

An Irish Independent article at the time reported that Trinity College was planning to sue George Lucas for unauthorised use of the image of the library.

However, a spokeswoman for George Lucas said: " "It is totally untrue that there is any connection between the scene in Attack of the Clones and Trinity College."

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