London: The latest row to hit Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is her spending 350,000 pounds of French taxpayers` money to set up her charitable foundation`s website while she was First Lady.
The cost was published earlier this month in a state auditor`s report on Elysee budget savings since the Socialist Francois Hollande took office, sparking outrage that has culminated in an online petition.
More than 50,000 people have demanded that Bruni-Sarkozy pays the money back, the Guardian reported.
The creation in 2009 of the first lady site for Bruni-Sarkozy, which is different to her personal music site, was a departure for the Elysee.
It was a public relations move supposed to capitalise on the soap-opera interest in the model-turned-singer, who had already appeared in interviews calling her French president husband "darling", introducing their dogs and revealing the contents of her handbag.
The site became a byword for glitches when it famously crashed on launch day - accompanied by a message blaming a "vast number of visitors" - and remains active in promoting the work of her charity foundation to help the underprivileged and her work as an ambassador for the Global Fund to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.
When the cost of the site emerged, Nicolas Bousquet, a web developer, launched the petition saying the state spend on the site was "indecent" and "anyone could have built the site for less than 10,000 euros".
He appealed for Bruni-Sarkozy to pay back the cost.