A group of Iranian students have demanded that a large caricature of their leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, should be removed from the city decorations for the annual pre-Lent carnival in Nice.
GV EXTERIOR: Traffic along seaside boulevard at Nice PAN UP TO banner advertising carnival
SV: Workers with scaffolding
GV: Huge carnival figures bolted to walls PAN ACROSS to figures on high mesh fence
GV ZOOM INTO: workmen on gantry putting up decorations.
SV TILTED ZOOM INTO Clown's face
SV: Visitors studying decorations.
SV: Fountain spraying PAN TO carnival decorations on building wall ZOOM INTO Ayatollah Khomeini caricature breathing fire. (2 shots)
SV: Illustration of petrol jerrycan and cocktail glass, TILT UP TO caricature of shouting man
CU: Khomeini caricature ZOOM OUT TO show other decorations PAN PAST fountain to people watching decorations
Under French law, only the subject of an effigy can launch any action if he feels affronted. Nice newspapers said the Ayatollah himself would have to come to France to lodge a complaint for any prosecution to proceed. The remaining 180 Iranian students in Nice belong to exiled families, and are opposed to the Khomeini regime.
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Background: A group of Iranian students have demanded that a large caricature of their leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, should be removed from the city decorations for the annual pre-Lent carnival in Nice. They said it is an affront to their country and religion. When the carnival director, Monsieur Jean-Paul Claustres, formally refused their request, two students were reported to have threatened to burn down the effigy, and their colleagues said they would take 'all measures' to have it taken down. There remarks prompted Mr. Claustres to notify the Public Prosecutor of Nice, complaining that the carnival and its installations had been menaced.
SYNOPSIS: The Nice carnival is always a lively affair, a period of abandon before the forty days of Lent.
Each year, the decorations feature cartoon effigies of lading international politicians and figures of authority. And usually, the satirical targets, and their followers, accept that the guying is perpetrated in a spirit of fun. the effigies, which average three or four metres (yards) in height, form the basis of carnival decorations.
The offending effigy forms part of a huge painted fresco erected around Massena Square. It shows Ayatollah Khomeini spitting flames, and twirling circus hoops on his right leg. Its designers claimed the effigy was, in fact, a mocking commentary on the anergy crisis in France.
The pro-Khomeini protestors are some twenty of the two hundred Iranian students studying in Nice at the faculties of science, letters and law. Last November, they held a hunger strike to have the former Shah extradited from New York.