French press review 7 January 2011

Women who cry lose their sex-appeal. Smokers are fighting back. A new website will let you buy famous artworks by the brush strokes. All this and more in this morning's French papers.


First to crying and sex, which is the story of the day on Le Figaro’s front page: according to Israeli researchers, chemicals in tears make a man’s testosterone level drop, killing his sexual appetite. For that, the woman doesn’t even have to be in the same room. Fresh tears on a pillow can have the same effect.

Also in Le Figaro, airport security isn’t bullet proof. According to the article, 30 per cent of concealed weapons go unnoticed during checks. Though that is an improvement from the 2004 to 2007 period, when 70 per cent of forbidden items went undetected.

Bring it on, say Spanish smokers. Le Monde reports that one bar in the Valencia region made that very clear when posting a sign that reads: “smokers welcome, non-smokers enter at their own risk.” A smoking ban in public places came into effect on 2 January and bars and restaurants have noticed a significant drop in sales. The article adds that overall profit in the sector could suffer a five to 10 per cent loss.

You might not be able to buy the Mona Lisa, but how about owning a piece of a Sol LeWitt? Catholic paper La Croix reports that 26-year-old Pierre Naquin will launch a website on Monday, called where you can do exactly that: own a piece of a piece of art.

The art industry is luring in more and more investors and having to put down 100 instead of 5,000 dollars could attract even more. The article, however, does not make it clear who gets to hang the painting in their home.

Libération leads with: “Laurent Gbagbo’s French Network.” France is pressuring the contested leader to step down, but it’s more complicated than that. Not only did the former head of the French Constitutional Council and a former French Foreign Minister act as Gbagbo’s legal advisors, a French PR firm managed his presidential campaign. Euro RSCG is now accused of manipulating a pre-election poll, predicting Laurent Gbagbo would win the election. On top of that, numerous French companies have a big stake in Côte d’Ivoire.

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