PHOTO VIA CHRISTIE'S
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is the focus of attention after a nude picture of the French First Lady, Carla Bruni, who is a former supermodel is to be auctioned at Christie's in New York next month. CLICK HERE TO WATCH ITN VIDEO ON THE STORY.
CHRISTIE'S auction house is set to sell a nude portrait of French first lady Carla Bruni, taken more than a decade ago when the now wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy was working as a model.
The gelatin silver print, taken by photographer Michel Comte in 1993, depicts Bruni in a standing pose, apparently in reference to the paintings of French neo-impressionist artist Georges Seurat depicting models.
Christie's defended its decision to put on sale a nude image of a serving first lady, describing Bruni as "one of the most beautiful women in the world".
"It's a work of art. It was shot in 1993 when Miss Bruni was a model and it's a tasteful nude portrait executed by a well known, respectable artist," said Milena Sales, spokeswoman from Christie's.
"Christie's stands by the works it represents to its clients, it
doesn't censor or pass judgement on any content or subject matter. It's
a perfectly respectable work of art," she added. source
Mr Sarkozy has faced criticism that his flashy, Rolex-wearing image is not in keeping with his function, and he had hoped that the visit would add some much-needed gravitas to his public persona.
According to aides, he is relying on the refinement of his 40-year-old Italian wife to wow the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.
in a Swiss finishing school, Mrs Bruni speaks fluent English unlike her
husband, who has been taking intensive lessons to catch up and impress
his hosts during the visit. source
Sarkozy's his public image was further scrutinized after his ex-wife married her lover with whom she was allegedly having an adulterous affair in New York this past weekend. The Daily Mail UK wrote an article after Nicolas Sarkozy's election win as the President of France questioning whether Sarkozy's ex-wife Cecilia was his femme fatale.
Even in a country whose strict privacy laws allow public figures to conduct themselves scandalously without fear of exposure, the Sarkozy marriage has become a public soap opera, spiced by periodic separations, passionate affairs and emotional reunions.
Inexplicably, Cecilia, whose reed-slim figure and unlined features belie her age, went missing for two weeks as the election campaign reached its climax, reappearing only when her husband's election victory was declared.
Her vanishing act (it is thought she went on holiday with friends to Florida) prompted inevitable questions about her suitability as First Lady, a role that historically conveys enormous influence, not to mention privilege and glamour.
But Nicolas's decision to kiss his wife publicly was obviously intended to allay such thoughts, though she appeared surprised by his expression of affection.
Despite this piece of theatre, the French chattering classes are pondering whether 'La Sarko' actually wants to take her place amid the unrivalled splendour of the Elysee Palace.
They recall her response some months before the elections when she was asked how she envisaged life were her husband to become president.
"I don't see myself as a First Lady," she said. "That bores me. I'm not politically correct. I potter about in jeans, combat trousers or cowboy boots. I don't fit the mould."
Where would she be a decade from now? "In the US, jogging around Central Park," she said tartly. source