[Tempi] The location from which he was to have given his speech was in front of a large painting with Christian themes. When the museum officials wouldn't move or cover the "offensive" painting, Hollande then canceled his visit.
The Right and Left, the unemployed and protesters of gay marriage, all opponents of Francois Hollande had gathered April 28 in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in Rouen to protest against the policies of the socialist government. Here the French president was to inaugurate an exhibition on Impressionism accompanied by three government ministers two days ago, however, Hollande has canceled the visit.
AVOID THE DISPUTE. The French newspapers have advanced two hypotheses for the cancellation of the visit. The first is political. To avoid disputes, Hollande preferred to postpone, given that among the demonstrators there were many unemployed people ready to accuse the socialist president that unemployment in France has hit a new record: 3,000,000 and 224,000 French people are looking for work, according to data released yesterday by the national employment poll.
RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND. The second hypothesis is of very different character. In view of the president's visit, a government delegation made a visit to the museum to check where Hollande would have to give his speech. Since the "pulpit" was placed right in front of a huge canvas with a religious background, Christian to be precise, the delegation asked the organizers to move it. Impossible task, given the size of the painting. He was then asked it to be covered with a giant blue canvas.
Hollande AND CHRISTIANS. According to some newspapers, Hollande would have canceled the tour in order not to talk behind a Christian painting. Assumptions are unconfirmed but that would not be a unexpected, given that the socialist president is less than happy in his relationship with the Christian religion.