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Last Updated: Friday, 7 May, 2004, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Canada MPs argue over sex symbol
Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida is regarded as an icon of Italian womanhood
Canada's parliament, scene of many worthy debates, was plunged into uproar after the alleged mispronunciation of a sexy Italian film actress' name.

Tempers flared when an MP accused an ex-minister of "rubbing shoulders with Gina Lollobreegeeda", reports said.

The apparent mispronunciation prompted Human Resources Minister Joe Volpe to yell: "It's Gina Lollobrigida, idiot!"

Opposition MP Jason Kenney hit back, saying he was sorry for "offending the ageing sex-kitten community".

Mr Volpe later told reporters he too had some regrets over the row.

"I'm sorry I called him an idiot. I should have referred to him as an imbecile," he said.

Gina Lollobrigida achieved fame for her portrayal of alluring, buxom heroines in the Italian cinema of the 1950s and 1960s.

Now 76 years old, she is known in Italy by her nickname, "La Lollo".

Canada's governing party argued that Mr Kenney's bad pronunciation constituted an insult to the honour of the country's sizeable Italian community.

Mr Kenney had accused former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano of misusing public funds when he travelled to Italy to launch a commemorative coin with Ms Lollobrigida.


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