Femen-inspired French stamp causes controversy on Bastille Day

A newly-released French stamp caused controversy on Bastille Day (July 14), after its designer revealed it was inspired by a member of the radical feminist group Femen.

Marianne Femen stamp France
Ciappa believes that Marianne would have been a member of Femen if they had been established at the time of the French revolution

The stamp shows Marianne, France's revolutionary symbol, and was unveiled by President Francois Hollande on the country's national day.

However, designer Olivier Ciappa posted on Twitter: "For all those who ask who the model was for Marianne, it's a mix of several women, but particularly Inna Shevchenko."

Shevchenko is a Ukrainian model who has recently been granted political asylum in France, having staged several high-profile topless protests.

The right-wing Christian Democratic Party is now calling for a boycott of the new stamp.

However, Marianne is always represented bare-breasted and, as Ciappa points out, "would probably have been a Femen in 1789 (the French revolution) because she fought for the Republic's values - liberty, equality and fraternity."

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