The bikini was popularised by Brigitte Bardot on the beach in Cannes in the 1950s, and now the same beach is to be used to celebrate women's swimwear that hides rather than bares all - the burkini.

French-Algerian businessman Rachid Nekkaz, who led a campaign against a ban on burkinis on French Riviera beaches last summer, is calling on women to descend en masse - wearing the full-body swimwear - on the beach on Friday as the town's film festival draws to a close.

"The Cannes Film Festival is all about liberty and tolerance," he told The Local. "It's the perfect place to celebrate this 'newfound freedom' in the city that was the first to ban the burkini."

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