The "solidarity" photo.
A different perspective on the leader’s portion of the march has emerged in the form of a wide shot displayed on French TV news reports.
It shows that the front line of leaders was followed by just over a dozen rows other dignitaries and officials – after which there was a large security presence maintaining a significant gap with the throngs of other marchers.
The measure was presumably taken for security reasons – but political commentators have suggested that it raises doubts as to whether the leaders were really part of the march at all.
The FT’s Middle East correspondent Borzou Daragahi commented: “Seems world leaders didn’t “lead” Charlie Hebdo marchers in Paris but conducted photo op on empty, guarded street.”
Ian Bremmer, a US political scientist and founder of the Eurasia Group, said: “All those world leaders: Not exactly ‘at’ the Paris rallies.”
Another US commentator, Gerry Hassan, called the leaders’ contribution “pseudo-solidarity