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France

Macron to sell more than politics through Élysée Palace outlet

media French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Emmanuel Macron sold voters the promise of a new type of presidency for France, but it's unlikely they imagined he would be selling them souvenirs as well.

.From watches and colouring books to fancy red, white and blue macaroons, a new line of official Elysee-branded goods celebrating the French presidency goes on sale this weekend.

The initial range of 56 products will be available at a pop-up store in the Elysee courtyard starting Saturday, when France kicks off its annual weekend of open-house visits to official sites normally off limits to visitors.

Just over half of them will cost less than 15 euros each.

Around 20 French companies collaborated on the products, which include president and first lady T-shirts, a watch bearing the Elysee logo from the storied watchmaker Lip, and coffee mugs.

The star pastry chef Pierre Herme is behind the macaroons inspired by France's tricolour flag.

The items will also be available on the presidency's website.

The Elysee will take a 12 percent cut of the sales, with the funds earmarked for upkeep and renovation works on the 300-year-old palace.

Starting next year the companies will be able to sell the products directly under licence from the presidency, including in their overseas outlets.

"This expanded distribution will further increase the reach of the brand, republican values, French culture and its emblematic know-how," the presidency said in a statement.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy had already trademarked the term "Presidence Francaise" in 2010, but only for trinkets such as key fobs and pens.

 
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