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Doctor says no to nude Bruni gift

€57,000 grant from Carla Bruni nude photo turned down by Cambodian hospital on grounds of taste.

A DOCTOR in Cambodia has turned down €57,000 raised by the sale of a nude picture of Carla Bruni "on grounds of taste".

Swiss pediatrician Beat Richner, head of the Kantha Bopha Children's Hospital Association told Le Matin Dimanche that he did not want "to be involved in the media exploitation of Madame Bruni."

Mr Richner said: "My decision was taken out of respect for our patients and their mothers."

"Accepting money obtained from exploitation of the female body would be perceived as an insult," said Mr Richner who added that in Cambodia the �use of nudity is not understood in the way it is in the West."

The nude photo, which was taken during a modeling shot in 1993 was auctioned in New York last week. Swiss photographer Michel Comte persuaded the seller, German collector Gert Elfering, to offer the money through the sale to a humanitarian cause, said Le Matin Dimanche.

The money will now instead be donated to a Swiss research institute developing the recycling of used water into fresh drinking water in poor countries.

Photo: Afp Timothy A. Clary

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