March 27, 2008 Censored - the picture of France's first
lady she and President Sarkozy didn't want you to see by Gulliver
This is the revealing photograph of his wife French President
Nicolas Sarkozy did not want the public to see.
And it was one view of Mrs Sarkozy Queen Elizabeth II certainly
did not see when the French first couple met the British monarch
during a state visit to the United Kingdom.
Our censored version of the photograph of France's first lady
was published this week by British family newspaper the Daily
Mail - with the French word for 'censored' protecting her
The 1993 full frontal nude photograph of the former model
Carla Bruni is to be auctioned in Christie's in New York next
month. It is expected to fetch $3,000-£4,000.
The image which has caused a worldwide sensation and whose
sale has provoked the fury of the 40-year-old Mrs Sarkozy
was taken during her modeling days by photographer Michel
One of her aides told news media that she was very angry and
deeply upset that a commercial organization had chosen to
release this print at such an important time.
"Her priority is to establish herself on the world stage
as a first lady France can be proud of," the aide added.
The black and white image that has caused such a storm was
taken when Mrs Sarkozy was one of the world's most sought-after
Christie's auction house have defended their decision to put
the picture under the hammer, describing it as "a respectable
work of art". They said it was shot 15 years ago when
Mrs Sarkozy was a model and it was a tasteful nude portrait
executed by a well-known, respected artist.
The photographer who took the shot revealed that he has even
more explicit pictures of Bruni.
"But she need not worry, I would never put them on sale,"
Michel Comte assured.
He said he had no idea how the photo had ended up at an auction,
and believed he may have given it to someone as a gift.
During the ten years they worked together he said he had taken
hundreds of pictures of Bruni.
President Sarkozy divorced his second wife in October and
married Bruni - now a successful singer - in February, after
a whirlwind romance.
The French first couple's two-day trip to Britain this week
was Bruni's first state visit as France's first lady. She
and her husband were guests of honor at a lavish banquet hosted
by Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.