Published: 02 Aug 2012 15:24 GMT+02:00 | Print version
Updated: 02 Aug 2012 15:24 GMT+02:00
A controversial statue of Carla Bruni depicted as a worker has been erected in a Paris suburb but fans of France's former first lady will struggle to catch a glimpse of a work that has embarrassed almost everyone connected with it.
The bronze was the brainchild of Jacques Martin, the mayor of Nogent-sur-Marne and a close political ally of Bruni's husband, former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Martin came up with the scheme to use a likeness of Bruni to represent the mostly Italian immigrant women who used to work at a feather factory in the town -- an idea branded "grotesque" by the Socialist opposition on the town council.
Opposition to the two-metre (seven-foot) high statue hardened when it emerged in February that it was going to cost 82,000 euros ($100,000).
The ensuing outcry forced Martin to abandon his plan to cover half the cost from the public purse and his office confirmed on Thursday that the statue had been completed with private funding and put up in a private residence.
The row in February embarrassed Bruni, who let it be known that she had agreed to model for sculptor Elisabeth Cibot without knowing that her name would be linked to the statue.
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was evacuated for the second time in two days on Wednesday when a topless feminist staged a mock suicide in front of the altar the day after far-right historian Dominique Venner shot himself in the church. READ () »
France is to shell out millions of euros on increasing security around its embassies in Africa and the Middle East, the French foreign office announced on Wednesday. The move comes after a car bomb attack on its Libyan embassy last month. READ () »
There is no egalité when it comes to France’s ruling class, which is dominated by an elite clique where a ‘jobs for the boys’ culture prevails, argues British author Peter Gumbel in his new book. Here he tells The Local how this elitism is holding France back. READ () »
Boos rang out at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday for a blood-spattered revenge tale starring Ryan Gosling as a US fugitive running a Bangkok drugs racket and Kristin Scott Thomas as a cross between "Lady Macbeth and Donatella Versace." READ () »
The fight by French workers against Britain-based steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has inspired a new online game in which strikers can attack police. The game is called "Kill Mittal", despite its creators insisting it is not designed to incite violence. READ () »
French police fear a gang of robbers is specifically targeting wealthy women in Paris after the second victim in a matter of weeks was kidnapped and forced to hand over tens of thousands of euros worth of valuables. READ () »
The French President François Hollande’s bid to clean up French politics suffered an early setback on Wednesday when one of his parliamentary deputies was jailed for embezzling public money. READ () »
The French government is planning a controversial change in the law to allow more university courses to be taught entirely in English, in a bid to attract foreign students. Author Frederic Werst, one of a group of writers against the project tells The Local why the idea is "deluded". READ () »
A highly contentious proposal to allow more courses at French universities to be taught in English will be discussed in the French parliament today as the minister behind the plan slams the “hypocrisy” of those opposing it. READ () »
French prosecutors investigating corruption are set to decide this week whether to charge IMF chief Christine Lagarde over her handling of a row that resulted in a €400 million payout being paid to disgraced businessman Bernard Tapie. READ () »