French Far-right Leader to Sue Madonna Over Swastika Video

A video showing party leader Marie Le Pen with a swastika superimposed on her face has been used on various legs of Madonna's world tour, including the opening concert in Israel in June.

Reuters
Reuters
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Reuters

France's far right National Front will sue Madonna after she screened footage of party leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika superimposed on her face at a concert in Paris on Saturday, a party official said.

The video shown on a huge screen has already been used on other legs of the U.S. singer's tour - including her opening concert in Israel in June.

After that concert, the National Front threatened to sue Madonna over the video, which shows the face of the National Front leader for a few seconds, with the Fascist symbol briefly imposed on it, before dissolving into a composite character resembling Adolf Hitler.

"A private plaintiff's case for insult will be presented next week," Florian Philippot, vice-president of the National Front, told Reuters.

He called the images an "unacceptable" provocation for attempting to associate Le Pen, who won 18 percent of the vote in April's first-round presidential election in France, with fascism.

Since taking the reins of the National Front last year from her ex-paratrooper father Jean-Marie, Le Pen has tried to widen her party's appeal by expelling extremists and cracking down on racist talk and anti-Semitism.

"It is our duty to bring a complaint to defend our voters and our supporters," Philippot said.

Although Le Pen's calls for protectionism and for France's to exit the euro currency have won sympathy with some parts of the electorate, the party won only two seats in the 577-member National Assembly in last month's legislative elections, partly due to France's first-past-the-post electoral system.

The image of Marine Le Pen with a swastika on her forehead that was screened during Madonna’s concert in Tel Aviv in JuneCredit: YouTube

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