Bomb scare drives Gaultier onto seafront in bathrobe

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 18, 2009 at 12:11 PM EST

Fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, clad only in a white dressing gown, was among 158 staff and guests forced to evacuate a luxury French hotel on Tuesday following a bomb threat.

The couturier appeared cheerful as he joined holiday-makers milling around on the seafront Promenade des Anglais in front of Nice's prestigious Hotel Negresco shortly after sunrise.

According to firefighters a woman called police at around 6:00 am to warn that a bomb had been placed in the Negresco.

"It was supposed to go off at seven o'clock, and it hasn't, so we suppose it was a false alarm," one officer said, as police sealed off the boulevard.

Earlier this month Industry Minister Christian Estrosi, who is also mayor of Nice, received a postcard warning gas bottles would be exploded in the town and in nearby Cap Negre, where President Nicolas Sarkozy is on holiday.

The card linked the threat to a bitter industrial dispute at the car parts manufacturer New Fabris in northern France, which is facing closure with the loss of 366 jobs.

Police have yet to confirm whether or not there was a link between the card and Tuesday's bomb threat.




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