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MAYORS TO CHOOSE NEW ICON OF FRANCE

Which of the women best captures France's spirit of liberte, egalite and fraternite -- the game-show hostess, the singer, the television anchor or one of two fashion models?

France's 33,000 mayors will cast ballots Thursday to pick the new face for Marianne -- the statue of a woman symbolizing France.

Five women are competing for the prestigious role, and the result will be announced next month. The bust -- to be displayed in mayors' offices nationwide -- will be unveiled in November.

The favorite is Laetitia Casta, the youngest competitor at 21 and an Yves Saint Laurent model, followed by Nathalie Simon, a game-show hostess with a passion for windsurfing and daredevil stunts.

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