Dec. 3, 2012 at 7:49 PM ET
Instead of a traditional pine tree, a high-tech light installation vaguely shaped like a Christmas tree stands in the the city center of Brussels. And the 82-foot sculpture is causing quite a stir, with thousands of signatures appearing on an online petition against it.
According to a report by the BBC, the town's mayor's office says the bright installation is part of this year's celebration theme, which is "light." and to "show off the 'avant-garde character' of Brussels by blending the modern and the traditional, to produce something new and different." But some petitioners "accuse officials of opting for the installation for fear of offending non-Christians, especially Muslims," says the BBC.
As of right now, an online petition against the new tree has more than 25,000 signatures. The folks who drafted the petition call for a "real Christmas tree," and say that they want "respect for [their] values and [their] traditions." So far, it doesn't appear as if the petition will lead to the removal of the tree. It is expected to remain in the town square until the very end of the year.
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