Paris - A controversial statue of Carla Bruni depicted as a worker has been erected in a Paris suburb but fans of France's former first lady will struggle to catch a glimpse of a work that has embarrassed almost everyone connected with it.
The bronze was the brainchild of Jacques Martin, the mayor of Nogent-sur-Marne and a close political ally of Bruni's husband, former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Martin came up with the scheme to use a likeness of Bruni to represent the mostly Italian immigrant women who used to work at a feather factory in the town - an idea branded "grotesque" by the Socialist opposition on the town council.
Opposition to the 2m high statue hardened when it emerged in February that it was going to cost $100 000.
The ensuing outcry forced Martin to abandon his plan to cover half the cost from the public purse and his office confirmed on Thursday that the statue had been completed with private funding and put up in a private residence.
The row in February embarrassed Bruni, who let it be known that she had agreed to model for sculptor Elisabeth Cibot without knowing that her name would be linked to the statue.
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