French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to start using a 10,000 pounds bullet-proof umbrella to protect him from attackers.
It follows opinion polls which portray him as the most unpopular head of state in recent Gallic history.
The umbrella will be carried by security guards who will have to be taller than the 5ft 5ins president.
The armour-plated umbrellas weigh 2.2kg compared to 500g for a normal brolly
In tests, police officers were able to break a wooden stool in two by hitting it repeatedly on top of the umbrella. They also smashed a champagne bottle in the same way.
‘He’s had all kinds of missiles aimed at him from above, especially on visits to high-rise housing estates where he’s particularly unpopular,’ said the source.
I thought this was an April Fool's joke at first, but a four year old edition of France Today suggests it might be real. I don't really mind one way or the other. I've always (as Icons Passim testify) been a sucker for weaponised umbrellas.