US Prez Obama, a very 'gifted' man

US Prez Obama, a very 'gifted' man

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II presented US President Barack Obama with a China tea set among his numerous luxury foreign gifts in the year 2011.

Documents published by the US State Department disclosed this week that British Prime Minister David Cameron had presented the American President and wife Michelle with a wall-mounted carpet version of the Union flag, featuring an American eagle surrounded by flowers and butterflies.

The USD 1,400 present, to mark the Obamas' visit to Britain in May 2011, was designed by wife Samantha Cameron with staff from London's Rug Company.

According to 'The Daily Telegraph', the offering was just one of dozens of works of art, pieces of jewellery and other trinkets that were lavished on the Obamas by overseas governments that year.

The Camerons also gave the President's daughters, Sasha and Malia, silver charm bracelets as well as a 13-inch bone-shaped Union flag chew toy for Bo, their Portuguese water dog.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh also presented the American First Family with a selection of papers from the Royal Archives between 1834 and 1897, bound in red leather.

Detailed exhaustively in the State Department's inventory, the gifts offer a glimpse of the varying diplomatic styles of foreign leaders.

Nicolas Sarkozy, former French President, presented  the Obamas with USD 40,000 worth of goodies including monogrammed bathrobes, a Hermes golf bag, and a pair of crystal statuettes.

Sarkozy also gave Obama a glass sculpture of Alexander the Great's horse, a Lacoste shirt and a fountain pen.

The French leader's gift inventory also included a limited edition lighter by the French designer S T Dupont for the US President, who has publicly admitted that he has struggled to give up smoking.

Other world leaders' gifts to the Obamas were less lavish.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for example, gave the president an autographed Toronto Raptors basketball, while the Australian Prime Minister presented him with a green and white iPod shuffle and Australian football jerseys.

Artwork worth USD 13,200 was also given to Obama by the governor of the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

But Obama or his family do not get to keep the gifts as in line with longstanding policy, most of the gifts were turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration, which oversees US presidential libraries

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