FRANCE is facing its biggest upheaval in more than 40 years after a man from Nice wiped his bottom after going to the lavatory.
In a daring challenge to French culture, Jean-Pierre LaFarge, a 38 year-old philosophy student, posted a YouTube video of himself evacuating his bowel and then nervously wiping his anus with a few strips of old newspaper.
An exhausted but triumphant Mr LaFarge then turns to the camera, clutching the heavily stained material and declares: "Citizens! Follow me! I am Frenchman with a clean bottom!"
But last night France's justice minister called for LaFarge to be prosecuted claiming his 'degrading act of personal hygiene is like a dagger to the heart of the Republic'.
Michel Alliot-Marie said: "I am distressed that a Frenchman would be so lacking in patriotism that he would reach into that sacred place and attempt to disturb what remains of the world's finest cuisine."
But ordinary French people have admitted to mixed feelings over the LaFarge wiping.
Chloé DuBernay, a 37 year-old sociology student from Rouen, said: "I have occasionally been tempted to wipe my bottom, especially after a big lunch, but I would always think of my grandparents and how ashamed they would have been."
She added: "I think it is time that France, as a society, started to talk about cleaner bottoms. But we need to do it one step at a time, which is why I'm so pleased that LaFarge put the used paper in his pocket instead of flushing it down the lavatory like some dirty Englishman."
French academics have compared the war of LaFarge's anus to the Paris riots of 1968 when students took to the streets to prevent the toilets in the Sorbonne from being cleaned.
For much the 19th and early 20th centuries the French were seen as the most anally aware society in Europe until English food writer Elizabeth David revealed that bidets were used exclusively for mashing geese.