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FRANCE

'Racist' cakes banned from French shop window

Dark chocolate - vital for pastry modelling, claims baker Yannick Tavolaro
Dark chocolate - vital for pastry modelling, claims baker Yannick Tavolaro Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

A court in southern France has banned the display of cupcakes sporting naked figures of a man and a woman in dark chocolate on the grounds that they are racist. The Nice court ordered baker Yannick Tavolaro to stop putting the cakes in his shop window and told the right-wing mayor Jérôme Viard of the nearby town of Grasse to enforce the order or face a fine of 500 euros a day. 

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But it did not oder Tavolaro to stop making the figurines, which he says he has been producing for 15 years, judging that there was no "malicious intent" on his part.

Labelled "god" and "godess" the figures, which are filled with ganache, have pink lips and exageratedly large, protruding genitals.

They show "two people of colour in grotesque and obscene attitudes", the court observed, adding that they are an affront to "human dignity, especially that of the African people or people of African descent".

The anti-racist group that brought the case to court, Cran, said the figures were a "reference to stereotypes harking back to colonial imagery" and were offensive to people of African origin.

Tavalaro claimed that dark chocolate was technically necessary to model the figures and that they were caricatures.

Cran president Louis-Georges Trin declared himself "delighted" with the judgement on Thursday.

The court ordered Grasse's town council to pay 1,000 euros in damages to the anti-racist group.

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