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Starck named chief artist of France's EU presidency

Designer Philippe Starck said Tuesday that he has been named "artistic director" of France's upcoming EU presidency at the request of Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

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Designer Philippe Starck on Tuesday said he had been named "artistic director" of France's upcoming EU presidency on the request of Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

"Bernard Kouchner wants the French presidency to have a very interesting, very creative profile," Starck told AFP.

The idea was to show "a very modern, very creative France of high technologies, not France wearing a beret, but an avant-garde France," he said by telephone.

The foreign ministry confirmed that Starck had been asked to design items during France's six-month EU presidency beginning in July.

The renowned designer, whose iconic objects range from chairs to juice squeezers and who has revamped the interiors of top hotels and the Eurostar train, said his upcoming brief concerned both the "material and immaterial."

"There are lots of things that traditionally are given to journalists, ministers, delegates," he said. "For the first time in the history of the EU, everything produced will be of high quality."

Starck refused to give details but said he had designed 10 to 15 objects that will be unveiled in June.

He said he had also designed events for the six-month presidency.
 

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