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French stamp with activist's likeness raises ire

The Associated Press, Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 2:30am (PDT)

PARIS (AP) — The new face of France — or at least the official postage stamp for the President Francois Hollande era — is modeled after a Ukrainian woman who takes her top off to defend feminist causes.

Not everyone thinks that's appropriate. The small, conservative Christian Democrat Party is calling for a boycott of the stamp.

Hollande on Sunday unveiled the new stamp, meant to represent Marianne, a symbol of France since the revolution.

Afterward, artist Olivier Ciappa said the image was modeled largely after Femen activist Inna Shevchenko. It's unclear whether Hollande, a Socialist who has pushed for more women's rights, knew about the Femen inspiration.

Marianne is sometimes depicted topless. Shevchenko now lives in France, where Femen activists frequently stage protests with slogans scrawled across their bare breasts.

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