A postage stamp depicting France's cultural symbol Marianne has touched off a flurry of controversywrites Reuters (merci à Duncan),
after one of its creators revealed it was inspired by a topless feminist activist who hacked down a Christian cross in Kiev last year with a chainsaw.
The new stamp depicts a youthful Marianne, a symbol of the French republic, wearing a Phrygian conical cap but does not show her topless. It was unveiled by President Francois Hollande on Sunday as part of Bastille Day celebrations.
Photographer and designer Olivier Ciappa said on his Twitter account that he was inspired by a number of women but most of all by Inna Shevchenko, a veteran member of the Femen group of feminist activists, which often stages bare-breasted protests.
Later, France 24 made an update to its story, reporting namely that"Feminism is an integral part of the values (of the French Republic). And Marianne, at the time of the revolution, was bare-breasted, so why not pay homage to this fabulous Femen," he said in an op-ed piece on the Huffington Post website.
Inna Shevchenko, the leader of topless feminist group Femen and one of the inspirations for the new stamp depicting Marianne, the feminine symbol of France, has created a mini-storm with a tweet slamming Ramadan and Islam in general.