France’s far right leader Marine Le Pen will consider suing Madonna if she uses a video depicting the Front National president with a swastika on her face during performances in France.
The image was shown on a huge screen at a concert the US singer gave in Israel, while she performed the song Nobody Knows Me.
In the video, the faces of several world personalities appeared including Pope Benedict, the Chinese leader Hu Jintao and the US politician Sarah Palin. Themontage then briefly showed Le Pen’s eyes and forehead with a swastika superimposed on her face, before her portrait appeared followed by an image resembling Adolf Hitler.
The provocative stunt at the Tel Aviv concert brought furious reactions in France. Le Pen warned: “If she does that in France, we’ll be waiting for her.”
A party official told the newspaper 20 Minutes the Front National’s lawyer was looking at possible legal action.
Madonna, 53, is due to give a concert in Paris on July 14, France’s national day, and in Nice on August 21 as part of her 80-concert world tour covering 30 countries.
“It’s understandable when ageing singers who need publicity go to such extremes,” Le Pen said. “Her songs don’t work any more.”
Even the Socialist government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said the assimilation of Le Pen with Hitler was regrettable.
Critics of the the Front National, however, pointed out that in January a leading member of the party produced a caricature of former president Nicolas Sarkozy wearing a Nazi uniform.
Le Pen, who came third with just under 18% of the vote in the first round of the presidential election in April, has been attempting to distance her party from supporters who hold Nazi sympathies, inherited from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen.
In Le Parisien newspaper, she hit back at Madonna, who has adopted two children from Malawi. “By the way, has Madonna given back the children she stole from Africa? Or did she end up buying them?” she asked.
Le Pen is hoping the Front National will pick up parliamentary seats in the two-round general election on June 10 and 17.