The prestigious Christie's auction house may have hit the jackpot big time when it announced that it will soon be auctioning off a series of sizzling hot nude shots of such catwalk beauties as Kate Moss or Giselle Bundchen - along with the highly controversial and equally hot photo of the current French First Lady and former world-famous supermodel Carla Bruni. As the auction house chose to break the news of Bruni's photo being put under the hammer at a rather unfortunate time (the French president and his new wife are currently on a state visit to Britain),
it had to confront several barely-disguised attacks accusing it of opportunism. Its answer was to point out that nude photos are sometimes art - and that Bruni's is not the only body going to be sold off.
"Christie's stands by the works it represents to its clients, it doesn't censor or pass judgment on any content or subject matter. It's a perfectly respectable work of art", Christie's representative Milena Sales stated in defense of the auction house's decision to disregard Carla Bruni's current political status and the fact that her racy photo might harm her public image even more than her racy supermodel past already has. "It's a work of art. It was shot in 1993 when Miss Bruni was a model and it's a tasteful nude portrait executed by a well known, respectable artist", Sales added. Christie's was also quick to point out that the now-infamous photo is by no means the only shot depicting a naked supermodel that will soon belong to the highest bidder - however, neither Moss
nor Bundchen are currently married to a head of state. Just saying...
Bruni's photograph comes from a collection that also includes the works of such artists as Helmut Newton, Leni Riefenstahl or Richard Avedon, and which also includes nudes of British models Kate Moss (seen in a nude shot taken by photographer Irving Penn in 1996) and Naomi Campbell. If it's any consolation for Bruni, she's in excellent company, and her photo does look moderately classy - apart from the fact that she's completely naked, of course. However, Kate Moss' public perception will still be that of "waif-like former cocaine-addict", nude shots or not. Carla Bruni is not, however, as (un)lucky.