Did an advertisement for the Church of Scientology that played during Sunday night’s Super Bowl feature a cameo by Trinity?
In a video entitled “Who Am I?” which aired during the game, viewers can catch a quick glimpse of a room (above) resembling the Long Room of College’s Old Library.
The advert begins by showing different people using technology while a voice over says “we live in an age of technological wonder. At the touch of a button, an infinite source of answers to any question you might ask, except for one. The one we thirst for. The question that lies at the intersection of technology and spirituality: Who am I?”
The image in question shows the distinctive barrel roof of the Long Room, along with busts and book shelves equally dispersed along the sides of the building. The finer details of the room are somewhat washed out however by the blueish light which permeates the rest of the advert. Trinity students on Twitter who were watching the game had been pointing out the supposed resemblance.
The Church of Scientology has aired an advert during the last four Super Bowl events, including Sunday night’s.
It’s not the first time people outside of Ireland may have gotten a look at College’s iconic room. In 2002, College alleged that Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones utilised the Long Room’s likeness for a scene set in the Jedi Archives. According to an Irish Independent article from the time, College was considering suing the production company behind the film.
“We are very protective of our buildings and the Long Room in the Old Library is a very important space. It gets half a million visitors a year. We are in close consultation with our legal advisors and, if necessary, will take action,” then deputy librarian Robin Adams said to the Independent. A spokesperson for George Lucas at the time denied there being any link between the film and College.
2014’s Super Bowl contest between the Seattle Sea Hawks and the Denver Broncos drew in an estimated 111.5 million viewers. Last night Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars provided entertainment during the half-time show, while Lady Gaga began the ceremony with a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
UPDATE 8/2/16, 17:22 – Responding the request for comment, a College spokeswoman said “The Long Room situated in the Library of Trinity College Dublin is one of Ireland’s most iconic interiors and attracted 769,000 visitors last year. It holds 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books and is one of the most impressive libraries in the world.
“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.”