France's newest Chevalier: Salma Hayek

There is much controversy and comedy surrounding French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision.

Salma Hayek, 45, will be knighted in two months and join the country’s Legion d’Honneur, or Legion of Honor.

It led to Henri Torre, 78, former minister refusing the same award. He told the French television station TFI that the distinction is too often used for political goals. He added: ‘Too many people were nominated who do not deserve to me honored’, adding that the awards had ‘lost their value.’

This completely strange news doesn’t come without a bit of controversy either. Hayek‘s husband, Francois-Henri Pinault, is the billionaire CEO of PPR, the French company that owns Gucci and Yves St. Laurent. According to The Telegraph, some believe that Sarkozy is knighting Hayek for political reasons.

The Legion of Honor was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 as a merit award and is given to military personnel and civilians to recognize their service to France.

In the government’s official journal, Hayek was lauded as a “director and producer (and) active member of charitable foundations for 23 years,” The Telegraph reports.

Hayek is currently promoting Puss in Boots, a film in which she provides the voice for a character called Kitty Softpaws.

Just before Christmas she boasted about her very large breasts, saying she had prayed as a young girl to be given ‘some boobs’.

Salma will receive her medal in a ceremony in the Élysées Palace, according to The Telegraph. Her father-in-law, retired business magnate Francois Pinault, will be honored and named a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, the country’s highest civilian decoration.

The ceremony will also include a presidential medal pinning.

Others have questioned the long list of Hollywood celebrities who have won the award that was initially created to honor services to the French state.

When Liza Minnelli received the award in 2011, the New York Times wrote that “the French government tends to hand out Legion of Honor medals like bonbons.”

Famous names who have also been bestowed with the award include Robert De Niro, Marlene Dietrich, Clint Eastwood, Jerry Lewis, Robert Redford, David Cronenberg and Steven Spielberg.

It follows similar criticism of the honors system in the UK, where Prime Minister David Cameron has been attacked for rewarding Tony Party donors, including tycoon Gerald Ronson, who was jailed for his part in the Guinness share-trading scandal.

Kathy Griffin writes on Twitter, “Just heard Salma Hayek will get a knighthood from France. Not sure if it’s going 2 her left breast or right breast.”

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