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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations April 12-13, 2008:

France gets a new figurehead.

The Stamp Collecting Report. I'm Lloyd de Vries.

There's a tradition in France that each president can choose what Marianne looks like. She's 
the image of a woman who represents France, and the design is featured on French stamps.

The original Marianne is believed to have been modeled after a poor country girl who worked 
as a maid to support her family

Forty years ago, President Charles de Gaulle decided that Brigitte Bardot best represented 
the modern French woman. Some of the other Mariannes have been modeled on actress Catherine 
Deneuve and super-model Laetitia Casta.

Some thought current French President Nicholas Sarkozy would choose his current wife, model 
Carla Bruni, as his Marianne.

But instead, Sarkozy, a stamp collector, has chosen a classical-style design. Marianne is 
wearing a "Phyrigian bonnet," worn by freed slaves in the Roman Empire, "thus signifying 
France's freedom from monarchy," we're told. 

The new Marianne stamps will be issued on July first, the day France becomes president of 
the European Union.

And that's stamp collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News.

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