Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mysterious 'SarkObama' Posters

Mysterious posters of French President Nicolas Sarkozy inspired by an iconic Barack Obama election image have sprung up across Paris, sparking a media guessing game about the origin of the campaign. Modelled closely on a pop-art design by the US street artist Shepard Fairey in support of the Democrat's presidential bid, the dozens of posters pasted up in Paris last week show Sarkozy against a red, white and blue backdrop. Each spells out a progressive policy goal -- "Making polluters pay?", "Producing clean and sustainable energy for Europe?" or "Saving each household 1,000 euros a year?" -- above Obama's slogan "Yes, We can". Suspecting a pro-Sarkozy publicity stunt, French news website L'Express has launched a reader appeal to try to identify the poster gang, who responded with a trail of online clues. They have posted photo galleries of themselves -- faces masked behind the "SarkObama" images -- plastering the posters at emblematic sites across Paris, on the file sharing websites FlickR and Dailymotion. Both Sarkozy's office and the governing right-wing UMP party deny being behind the poster campaign. "We would have liked it to be us, because we like the message," said the head of the UMP's youth section, Benjamin Lancar. Several members of Sarkozy's camp have sought to draw a parallel between the election of a black president in the United States and the French vote for Sarkozy, the son of a Hungarian immigrant. The French leader has repeatedly sued media and commercial outfits over unlicensed use of his image -- most recently when he tried unsuccessfully to block the sale of a Nicolas Sarkozy voodoo doll. (AFP via MSN)

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