Lowbrow Sarkozy Causes French Culture Shock

Sarko's no highbrow, but his wife gives some hope
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2008 9:37 AM CDT
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, and his wife, first lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, left, arrive at the Old Royal Naval College in London.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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(Newser) – French presidents have traditionally positioned themselves as guardians of high culture, and no term in office is complete without constructing a major new museum. But while François Mitterand might have loved Russian literature, Nicolas Sarkozy is more of a Céline Dion man. As the New York Times reports, many of Sarkozy's supporters are dismayed at Sarko's cultural policy—and hoping his new wife can turn things around.

"Look, we need a president who is cultivated," said the author of a bestseller mocking the French head of state. But while many were resigned to Sarkozy's lowbrow tastes, his marriage to Carla Bruni—friend to Paris' cultural elite and sister of a leading film director—offered an unexpected glimmer of hope. "I'm banking on Carla," said one writer. "France has had many brilliant queens, you know."