O a statue that represents the first lady of France
The work was commissioned by the mayor of Nogent-sur-Marne, the party of President Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP), to honor the artisans, mostly Italian, who worked in an old mill town down. "It is fortunate to have a first- Lady of Italian origin. The image is symbolically powerful, "says the mayor of Nogent-sur-Marne, Jacques Martin.
The bronze sculpture of more than two meters tall with the face of Carla Bruni should be inaugurated in May, when it occurs the second round of presidential elections. The models and photos of the work are being kept secret.
The statue, which will be installed in the historic city center, is being criticized by the opposition and even by politicians linked to the right.
"It's an insult to the employees of the plant plumes have the face of a person rich. Carla Bruni does not represent the working world," says the Socialist councilor of Nogent-sur-Marne, William Geib.
"Carla Bruni may have seen most of the parades down the catwalk or in ostriches than in factories," Geib says, adding that the sculpture of the first lady is represented as working something "grotesque."
Already Councilman Gilles Michel, no party, but on the right, says the work is a "political coup on the eve of presidential elections."
A source close to the first lady told the newspaper Le Parisien that Bruni has agreed to pose for the artist, Elisabeth Cibot, but said there was never a possibility that his name appeared in the work.
Bruni appreciates the work of the sculptor, the source said. She adds that the profession was posing the former model, but now the first lady does not do that anymore so commercial.
"Bruni is always asked to pose, and does that benefit," says the source, adding that the controversy "is a political exploitation of something that has no relation with politics."
"There is a statue of Carla Bruni. It is a sculpture of an Italian early 20th century, in honor of this community. The only element that is the face of the work is actually inspired by the first lady's face, which is Italian. This gives the piece a contemporary look, "says the artist.
Aldermen of Nogent-sur-Marne, which has 30,000 inhabitants, said the mayor did not mention in the budget meeting that approved the execution of the sculpture, the work would have the physical features of Carla Bruni.
According to local politicians, the sculpture would cost 80,000 euros, of which half would be financed by the city and half by a real estate developer.