April 14, 2024

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Paris Olympics: 'Wake up' map dispute as Paris prepares for the Games

Paris Olympics: 'Wake up' map dispute as Paris prepares for the Games
  • Written by Michael Shiels McNamee
  • BBC News

Image source, Dimitar Delkov

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Artist Ugo Gattoni said he wanted to create a “festive world” through his depiction of Paris

The designer of the official poster for this summer's Paris Olympics has responded to criticism that his art erases symbols of French and Christian identity.

The design features a cartoon map of Paris with lots of details.

Conservatives criticized the lack of the French tricolor, and the missing cross from the Hôtel des Invalides landmark.

Artist Ugo Gattone said he wanted to create a “festive world.”

François-Xavier Bellamy of the right-wing Les Républicains party wrote on the website

National Rally (RN) MP Nicolas Maisonette complained that this omission was a consequence Lou Walkesmeea source of concern for the far right in France.

It has since become widely used as criticism by conservative politicians and the media on a range of topics.

The Ugo Gattoni-designed Panorama of Paris manages to accommodate major Paris landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, and includes all 54 Olympic and Paralympic sports.

In reaction to being drawn into France's culture wars, Gattoni said he painted buildings “the way they came to my mind, without any ulterior motive.”

A statement from the organizing committee sent to Agence France-Presse said the posters were “a light-hearted interpretation of the reinvented stadium city.”

She added that the wave of surfing was seen “off Marseille's Marina beach, the Eiffel Tower in pink, and the subway running through the Arc de Triomphe – none of which should be the subject of politically motivated interpretations.”

She added that the colors of the French flag – blue, white and red – are present in the mascot's rosettes, and other national symbols such as Marianne, who personifies France, also appear.

Image source, Getty Images

This isn't the only controversy currently gripping the Invalides.

The historic military complex located in central Paris, where Napoleon was buried, is also at the center of a dispute related to proposals by Saudi Arabia to build an Olympic village on the site.

The French Ministry of the Armed Forces said that negotiations with Saudi Arabia were “ongoing” but said that the use of the Invalides site would be subject to strict conditions.

“Some things are not for sale – Invalides is one of them,” right-wing lawmaker Nathalie Serie said.

The Paris Olympics will be held from July 26 to August 11. It will be followed by the Paralympics from August 28 to September 8.

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