Madonna Removes Swastika From Image of Marine Le Pen
Madonna ended her summer tour de France with a peace offering to right-wing politician Marine Le Pen at a concert in Nice on Tuesday night.
Around 11:30 p.m., Madonna screened a video accompanying her song "Nobody Knows Me" that included an image of Le Pen. But this time, instead of superimposing a swastika on Le Pen's face, the pop queen added a question mark.
Madonna angered the conservative Front National party earlier this summer when she showed that video with the swastika imagery during concerts in Tel Aviv and Paris. "I know that I made a certain Marine Le Pen very angry with me. And it’s not my intention to make enemies," Madonna stated last month.
As of last Thursday night, FN members on the Cote d’Azur covered up Madonna’s concert posters with those of Le Pen.
The pop singer’s MDNA tour has been no holiday in the country. Disappointing ticket sales and even more disappointed fans, bad reviews and a run-in with the FN have plagued the singer since her first performance there in June -- and her exploits have entertained Gallic press for months.
"Madonna’s chaotic summer," read a headline in French magazine l’Express. Le Figaro called Madonna’s Nice show "a final concert in France under pressure" and her Paris show in late July "catastrophic" and "a night from hell."
Madonna wasn’t able to fill the 80,000 seats at the Stade de France during a July 14th Bastille Day concert in Paris, but then again, neither could resident rock star Johnny Hallyday and Lady Gaga still hasn’t sold out her show planned for September. Madonna sold out the 2,700 tickets to a last-minute show at Paris’ l’Olympia within minutes, but the show ended on a bittersweet note when fans complained it was cut too short after just 45 minutes and demanded their money back to no avail.
The city of Nice said Tuesday that they had given away close to 4,400 free tickets to the show. "The Nikaia concert hall obviously was having trouble filling seats, so they gave us between 2,000 and 2,200 invitations valid for two people," a city spokesperson told French radio station France Bleue Azur. However, the director of concert venue Palais Nikaia denied the claims and said that they’d only given away around 250 tickets.
Despite her controversy-free concert, Madonna did evoke politics to show support for jailed Russian punk band Pussy Riot by wearing yellow to her rehearsals before Tuesday's show, which featured LMFAO as the opening act.
At a recent concert in Moscow, the singer had worn a black ski mask and wrote the group's name on her back in support.
Madonna, who just celebrated her 54th birthday, will continue on her MDNA tour spanning more than 30 countries across the globe through 2013.