French photo festival puts Jagger in spotlight

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Mick Jagger is the main attraction at the 41st annual Rencontres d'Arles photography festival in the south of France, with organisers hoping that he will put in a personal appearance.

The 66-year-old Rolling Stones frontman is the subject of about 70 portraits on display in Arles by the likes of Cecil Beaton, Anton Corbijn, Annie Leibovitz and Peter Lindbergh, tracing his life from the 1960s until today.

"Now the English are out of the football World Cup, we have a better chance of seeing him," said Francois Hebel, the festival's director, recalling that Jagger was seen in the stands in South Africa.

Other highlights at Arles include a selection of works by Austria's Ernst Haas using Kodachrome slide film, and a first-ever French retrospective for 90-year-old Argentine artist Leon Ferrari.

The festival -- which opens on Saturday and runs till September 19 -- has seen visitor numbers rise by an average of 20 percent a year since 2001, with a record 72,000 attending last year.

© 2010 AFP

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