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Donald Trump waxwork with real hair unveiled in Paris (alongside Putin)

One day before he is to be officially inaugurated as the next US president Donald Trump's waxwork version was unveiled in Paris on Thursday, alongside Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump waxwork with real hair unveiled in Paris (alongside Putin)
Donald Trump's (waxwork) head on show in Paris. All Photos: AFP

On the eve of his inauguration as US president, Donald Trump was already standing among world leaders at the Grevin wax museum in Paris on Thursday — though the sculptor admits the hair posed a challenge.

Sculpted in record time — just over two months — after the museum was wrong-footed by Trump's shock victory over Hillary Clinton, the wax likeness stands next to one of German leader Angela Merkel and at arm's length from Vladimir Putin of Russia.

The museum was so certain that Clinton would win the November election that it decided to forgo the trouble of sculpting statues for both candidates.

“We should have had both ready, to be safe,” said sculptor Eric Saint Chaffray. “So we were under time pressure,” he told AFP, adding that he worked from photos and videos.

(AFP)

“Luckily he has sharp features that are easily caricatured. That's an advantage for us,” said Chaffray, who has been sculpting US presidents for more than 20 years at the Grevin.

“He has very long hair, and it's done in a sort of wave,” Chaffray told AFP. “I think he spends a lot of time on his hair every day, and he may need a simpler style once he takes office.”

As with all the museum's waxworks, the Trump hair is natural and can be re-dyed as needed.

(AFP)

Chaffray said he thought that once he was in office, the 70-year-old Trump would tone down his hair colour, noting: “Already it's less orange, more platinum.”

(AFP)

The work on Hillary Clinton's likeness had advanced to the stage of the modelling, said Veronique Berecz, the Grevin's press attache, adding that the museum would hold on to the work “just in case”.

As for the outgoing US president, “we are keeping on Obama with pleasure,” Berecz said, noting that he would take his place among other Nobel Peace laureates.

A similar Trump waxwork was unveiled on Wednesday at Madame Tussauds museum in London, complete with his signature suntan — and yak hair. Squirrel hair was also used for his eyebrows.

Grevin, which attracts some 800,000 visitors a year, was started in 1882.

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TAX

France aims for US digital tax deal by late August, despite Trump opposition

France wants to reach a deal with the US on taxing tech giants by a G7 meeting in late August, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Saturday.

France aims for US digital tax deal by late August, despite Trump opposition
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire. Photo: AFP

He was responding to US President Donald Trump, who on Friday vowed “substantial” retaliation against France for a law passed this month on taxing digital companies even if their headquarters are elsewhere.

The law would affect US-based global giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, among others.

Trump denounced French President Emmanuel Macron's “foolishness”, though they discussed the issue by phone on Friday, according to the White House.

Macron confirmed that he had a “long” conversation with Trump, stressing the pair would “continue to work together in view of the G7”.

“We will discuss international taxation, trade and collective security”, he said Saturday.

His office earlier said Macron had told Trump that the tax on the tech giants was not just in France's interest but was something they both had a stake in.

Neither side revealed if they had also discussed Trump's threat to tax French wines in retaliation.

Le Maire took the same line at a news conference Saturday: “We wish to work closely with our American friends on a universal tax on digital activities.

“We hope between now and the end of August — the G7 heads of state meeting in Biarritz — to reach an agreement.”

Leaders of the Group of Seven highly industrialised countries are to meet in the southwestern French city on August 24-26.

Le Maire emphasised that “there is no desire to specifically target American companies,” since the three-percent tax would be levied on revenues generated from services to French consumers by all of the world's largest tech firms, including Chinese and European ones. 

But Deputy White House spokesman Judd Deere noted earlier that France's digital services tax was already the subject of an investigation at the US Trade Representative's office, potentially opening the door to economic sanctions.

“The Trump administration has consistently stated that it will not sit idly by and tolerate discrimination against US-based firms,” Deere said in a statement. 

The French law aims to plug a taxation gap that has seen some internet heavyweights paying next to nothing in European countries where they make huge profits, because their legal base is in smaller EU states.

France has said it would withdraw the tax if an international agreement was reached, and Paris hopes to include all OECD countries by the end of 2020.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is a Paris-based forum that advises the world's advanced economies.

READ ALSO: 'I like the way they look': Teetotaler Trump prefers US wine to French

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