Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has received the gift of his own likeness some 17 times since becoming prime minister, including once by the president of China.
The portraits and photos, along with a large number of vases, wine bottles and Star Wars paraphernalia, are among the more than 400 gifts worth more than $200 that Mr. Trudeau has declared to the federal ethics commissioner since late 2015.
Among the images “of myself,” as commonly described in Mr Trudeau’s revelations, are a portrait stamp of Chinese President Xi Jinping and a goatskin painting offered by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.
There is also a 3D crystal collage of Mr. Trudeau and former US President Barack Obama, and cutouts of him and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, both given by Canadian artists.
When asked, the Prime Minister’s office did not specifically address the question of what happens to all these images of Mr Trudeau. For example, are there any – like the oil painting titled “Happy Moments” – hanging in his home at Rideau Cottage? They simply said that some gifts are kept or kept while others are donated or forfeited.
Roy Norton, head of protocol at Global Affairs Canada from 2016 to 2019, told The Canadian Press that he reads nothing in the portraiture trend other than the desire to “become more personal and cheaper”.
To achieve that same goal, Mr. Norton in an interview, the Canadian protocol bureau was said to attempt to use Mr. Trudeau offered gifts to match the taste of the recipient.
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a Bach fan, so she got a boxed set of concerts performed by Glenn Gould, he said, while one of Mr. Trudeau’s gifts to former US President Donald Trump was a photo from the 1980s. of Trump with Pierre Elliott Trudeau in New York.
“Trump likes pictures of himself, so that was a gift that was seemingly very well received,” said Mr Norton. The president told the media at the time, “What a great photo.”
Explaining that exchanging gifts is a highly orchestrated bureaucratic affair, Mr Norton added that Canadian Prime Ministers would be just as likely to not receive gifts due to the potential for negative attention.
“No leader of a democratic country is interested in being compromised or having to spend a fraction of the news cycle defending a gift received or a gift given,” he said.
Mr Trudeau has received 110 gifts from heads of state or government of other countries since he became prime minister, an analysis of public records shows, with a major setback during the pandemic as travel became much less frequent.
Jordanian King Abdullah II was the most generous of all foreign officials and presented Mr Trudeau with 10 gifts ranging from a handmade leather saddle to ‘sculptural plant vessels’ to jars of honey. The king even had a box of skin care products delivered to Mr Trudeau during a personal visit to Canada last year, with the prime minister’s cabinet saying the two did not meet.
French President Emmanuel Macron came in second with seven gifts for the prime minister, including a limited edition Star Wars X-wing pen – a gift that may be surpassed by Obama’s offer of a script for the film in 2016 The power awakenssigned by director JJ Abrams.
More than 140 gifts declared by Mr. Trudeau were actually for his wife or their children, such as Bo “The First Dog” scooters and plush toys, donated by Mr. Obama.
And a few dozen consisted of an “introduction” from various clothing, accessory and jewelry designers, such as a pair of fighting gloves offered by Rival Boxing Gear in 2018. Still others were swag bags with various branded items, such as a Jack Daniel’s T-shirt and hoodie offered. next to a bottle of whiskey.
Mr. Trudeau had to forfeit 20 gifts in recent years, including three paintings of himself, an Arab robe and a Seiko watch from the Japanese Prime Minister, because they were worth more than $1,000.
He reimbursed part of the cost of two gifts so he could keep them — an e-bike presented by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in 2016 and an etching by Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook of the president of Nunavik Tunngavik Inc. in 2017. He also received a Huawei Mate 10 Pro Android phone from Li in 2017.
Lest China’s electronic devices arouse suspicion, Mr Norton said the RCMP scans everything the Prime Minister receives and sometimes even disassembles items in search of anything compromising. And a spokeswoman for Mr. Trudeau said all gifts sent to him have been approved by security.
The ethical disclosures do not include items given to Mr. Trudeau that are worth less than $200, such as the trinkets and letters he often receives from the general public.
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