French President's wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy poses is seen prior to a television interview, in Paris, Monday May 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, pool)
NOGENT-SUR-MARNE, France (AP) -- Residents are blasting a plan to erect a statue with a face modeled on that of French first lady
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in this small town east of Paris.
Opponents say the elegant former top model has no link to this
working class town. But Mayor Jacques Martin, a big supporter of
President Nicolas Sarkozy, is unbending on the matter.
The 2.5 meter (8.2-feet) statue will go up in a square in the Little Italy development underway to pay homage to Italian immigrants who settled here. The mayor has said the developer will cover the cost. He denied reports that his office will split it.
The statue is to be finished after this spring's presidential election.
Bruni-Sarkozy was born in Italy.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)