Controversy over Sydney Opera House advert

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Plans to promote a horse race, the Everest Cup, on the famous sails of the Sydney Opera House has drawn plenty of criticism in Australia.

An order by New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian earlier this year will see the World Heritage-listed site show the advert later this week.

Critics, however, believe the order defies Sydney Opera House rules by ostensibly creating a “billboard” for the racing and gambling industries. More than 150,000 people have signed a petition, insisting the historic building be “protected.”

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, though, has backed the promotion as positive for the economy and tourism.

“Why not put it on the biggest billboard Sydney has? This is one of the biggest events of the year,” said Morrison.

“We have a policy that protects our world heritage status,” Sydney Opera House chief executive Louise Herron said on radio 2GB.

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