Denver, Aug.28 : Republican John McCain's campaign has mocked the massive neoclassical set created for Democrat rival Obama's speech at 75,000-seat Invesco Field here.
Some Republicans have dubbed it the "Barackopolis," while others suggested the delegates should wear togas to fit in among the same Doric columns the ancient Greeks believed would stroke the egos of Zeus and Athena.
"It's only appropriate that Barack Obama would descend down from the heavens and spend a little time with us mere mortals when accepting the Democratic nomination," said Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz.
The McCain campaign quickly dispatched a memo calling the stage the "Temple of Obama."
"We would have expected to read something like this in The Onion. Fortunately for us, it's true. Unfortunately for Obama, it's true," a McCain adviser told The New York Post.
But the set is designed to evoke the White House and the Lincoln Memorial, not the Acropolis, said staging supervisor Bobby Allen, a Spears set vet.
The curved, columned backdrop does resemble the portico of the White House, and blue carpeting and podium surrounded by white stars is suggestive of the Oval Office, other crew members said.
Democrats quickly pointed out that George W. Bush accepted the Republican nomination before a similar, though less elaborate, stage in 2004.
Obama chose to accept the nomination at Invesco Field and not at the Pepsi Center, where the rest of the convention is being held, so he can reach out to a larger number of supporters - a move John F. Kennedy employed in 1960.
The late decision to move the speech to the football stadium did not give Allen and the other contractors much time to make the Olympian stage a reality.
"We knew about it for only a few weeks, and had only one week to actually assemble this," he said.
The structure has an aluminum frame, and the faux-stone walls and columns are made of wood.
Obama has been called "the biggest celebrity in the world" by the McCain campaign.