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'Marine Le Pen is the 21st century Joan of Arc'

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Brigitte Bardot thinks Marine Le Pen is the 21st century Joan of Arc. Photo: Wikicommons/AFP
16:40 CEST+02:00
In a new interview one-time French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot has likened the head of France's anti-immigration National Front party to the iconic French historical figure of Joan of Arc.

Bardot’s support of National Front head Marine Le Pen hasn’t wavered a bit since backing her in the 2012 presidential election, if anything it’s grown stronger.

In an interview with Paris Match that hit the web this week, the 1960s fashion and cinema icon who's since become an animal rights activist said: “I hope she saves France, she is the Joan of Arc of the 21st century.”

Yes, the same Joan of Arc who was burned at the stake in the 15th century, but was later sainted by the Catholic Church and is a national hero in France.

For Bardot, Le Pen and her anti-immigration, anti-European Union party could rescue France from its current economic and cultural woes.

“I am a native Frenchwoman and proud of it. I mourn the fact my beautiful country has deteriorated in every way. It’s criminal to submit to these depths,” she told the magazine.

In addition to backing Le Pen in 2012, Bardot has repeatedly supported the party with which she shares a critical view of Islam.

In 2013 Bardot’s animal right group, the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, joined the National Front in protesting against a temporary slaughterhouse opened in France as part of the celebrations that mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In recent months Le Pen’s National Front has taken advantage of French anger at its politicians and the EU to record significant electoral victories.

The party has also become increasingly mainstream under Le Pen’s leadership and has mounted a concerted campaign to rid its ranks of flagrant racists and anti-Semites.

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That so-called de-demonization effort was declared successful by Bardot in 2012 who told French paper Nice Matin Le Pen is the only leader “to denounce the scandal that is Halal meat.”

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