The September issue of the Tunisian men’s magazine features France’s ambassador to Tunisia on its cover in a dark suit, adjusting his cuffs and smiling seductively at the camera.
It’s not the first time a photograph of the 41-year-old ambassador has caused some raised eyebrows.
He created a stir earlier in the year when a photograph of him in a snug pair of swimming trunks was posted on the French website for old class mates, Copains d’Avant. Coincidentally, perhaps, the swimwear he was sporting in the picture were not so far removed in design from those worn by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, his first film as the British secret service agent.
The photograph so enraged the far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen that she appeared on a news programme brandishing the racy picture and demanding the ambassador’s dismissal “for the honour and dignity of the French and for the dignity of the Tunisians.”
In the September issue of Tunivisions, the 41-year-old explains that his qualities include “courage and frankness” while he is guilty of being “impetuous.” He uses a motto of the French philosopher Henri Bergson when he says he “thinks like a man of action and acts like a man of thought.”
Boillon was appointed as ambassador in February this year but had a rough start when he rubbished local journalists’ questions during a meeting as “dumb and stupid.”
The comments caused offence leading to hundreds of people protesting outside the French embassy in the capital, Tunis. Boillon later appeared on television to apologize for his outburst.