The poster for the 2024 Olympics, at the heart of a controversy

Unveiled on Monday March 4 at the Musée d’Orsay, the official poster for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games is already causing a lot of buzz. In question, the replacement of the Christian cross overlooking the dome of the Invalides with an spire and the absence of the tricolor flag, which provoked the indignation of a number of Internet users and political figures, mainly on the right.

Created by Parisian designer Ugo Gattoni, the poster teeming with details represents a fantasized and colorful Paris, a stadium city which brings together several emblematic monuments of the capital, alongside the Marseille Marina and the Teahupoo wave in French Polynesia because sporting events will also take place there.

But for some politicians, the disappearance of the cross and the French flag goes beyond a simple aesthetic choice. “The dome of the Invalides is not that of a supermarket but that of a chapel. By erasing the cross at its top, the official poster for the 2024 Olympic Games denies the very identity of this building as well as French history. protests Éric Ciotti, president of the Republicans, on X (formerly Twitter). “Why no French flag? What is the point of organizing the Olympic Games in France if it is to hide what we are? » asked Marion Maréchal, niece of Marine Le Pen and head of the list of the Reconquest party! in the European elections.

The poster was also debated on Wednesday March 6 during a public session of the Senate. “Mr Prime Minister, what difference does your government make between a cross and an arrow? » questioned Senator Les Républicains Roger Karoutchi, adding “that today, globalized wokism wants to erase the symbols of the Nation”. “It is not at all a reproduction, but an interpretation that aims to be joyful and full of a reinvented stadium city” replied Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Minister of Sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games of France. “This is not a state commission, it is a free gesture from a creative, courageous artist, inspired by these Olympic Games”.

Faced with the outpouring of criticism, the artist Ugo Gattoni insisted on justifying himself in a statement sent to Agence France-Presse, assuring that he had acted ” without a second thought “ and according to an artistic vision which “does not seek to represent objects or buildings in a conforming manner”. The Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (OCOG) gave its support to the illustrator, saying in a press release that the poster is “a representation which is neither exhaustive nor faithful to reality – the Tahiti wave is off the Marseille marina, the Eiffel Tower is pink, the metro passes under the Arc de Triomphe – without this having to make the ‘object of interpretations with a political aim’.

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