Lyons - (Corner House News): Local stone mason Emmanuel Fourchet has ignited a very touchy ecclesiastical touchpaper with his rendition of a carved gargoyle of French World Cup 1998 hero Zinedine Zidane.
The effigy sits atop the roof of Lyons city's 12th century cathedral of St Jean with a sign saying Allahu Akbar (God Is Great) in Arabic and French.
"Of course it could have been Fabien Barthez, or Emmanuel Petit," Fourchet explained, "but there is something about Zidane's face that lends itself to ecclesielastic satire."
The 1998 World Cup Final man of the match captained France to victory in the 2006 World Cup Final, winning the Golden Balls prize for the tournament's most outstanding player.
His agent said today the gargoyle sculpture was news to him but probably not unwelcome.
Hardline local youth grope - er...group! - Jeunes Identitaires Lyonnais is livid at the erection of the gargoyle and is threatening to cut off its annual supsbription to the Lyons Bishop's hardship fund by way of protest.
1998 final veteran Marcel Desailly is 69.