Puma accused of defacing heritage for shoe commercial
NEW DELHI: Global sportswear giant Puma was accused Tuesday of irreversibly damaging 17thcentury architecture in Delhi’s historic quarter as part of an advertising stunt to promote a new line of shoes.
The facades of several buildings in Old Delhi have been spraypainted with large colourful murals for the shoe campaign that Puma said “captures the grit of Indian streets” on its website.
But the stunt — dubbed “Suede Gully” after the shoe material and the Hindi word for street — has infuriated conservationists who accused Puma of defacing the centuriesold quarter built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
Puma could not immediately be reached for comment but a spokeswoman for the sportswear brand told The Indian Express newspaper “all necessary permissions were sought”.
In an advertising video for the Puma campaign, Indian rappers and hip-hop dancers perform at graffiti-covered locations including trains in the financial capital Mumbai. Rules to protect Delhi’s neglected heritage sites from destruction are widely ignored, conservationists say.