French court rules against ‘Mona Lisa’ smile on passports


Paris, Sep 30: A French court has ruled out against smiles, including a Mona Lisa smile, in passports.

An unnamed French civil servant sued the French authorities after his initial passport application was rejected for a smile in the passport picture. He lost the suit in 2014 as a French court ruled that he grinned obviously in that photo, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

Both French courts made their decision based on regulations concerning passport photos, which provide that “the expression (of the applicant) should be neutral with the mouth closed” and “you must certainly not smile.”

The plaintiff and his lawyer both insisted that on the controversial photo it’s just a “smile with one’s mouth shut while keeping a neutral expression,” like what Mona Lisa does in that famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

The regulations are of no legal value, the lawyer Romain Boulet said before Thursday’s ruling.



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