A talented artist has announced his plans to become the world’s first fully tattooed – head of state.
Intimidating Vladimir Franz will provoke a number of assumptions with 90 per cent of his body covered in ink.
But the 53-year-old is actually a drama professor at a prestigious Czech university, a talented painter and a successful opera composer.
He also graduated from law school and has a doctorate in law but opted against a legal career because of the former communist regime.
Now Mr Franz, from Prague, is turning his hand to politics and has started a campaign to become the next President of the Czech Republic.
The wannabe politician, running as an independent, is travelling around his homeland in a bid to get the 50,000 signatures required before the end of the year to run for office.
And on Monday, after his first weekend of campaigning he had already racked up 8,777 signatures.
He describes himself as a man “with a sense of humour and an inner relationship to nature who never ceases to learn and expand his knowledge and skills”.
The divorced dad, whose Facebook campaign page has more than 23,000 likes, is confident the public will take him seriously and that he has a genuine chance of becoming the country’s first publicly elected President.
Despite his intimidating image, his politics are moderate, promoting tolerance, human rights, democracy and encouraging the search for alternative energy sources.
He told The Prague Post said: “Politics, politicians and the state have become alienated from the people. Citizens are frustrated, and I fear radicalisation.
“Politicians and the state are not the same thing. They do not own the state, but should be its responsible stewards, hired by the owners once every four years.
“Those owners are the citizens of this country I think I have a chance, not only because I am nonpartisan, but as a person without a tarnished political past and an individual free of links to financial circles and their interests.”
“Gathering at least 50,000 signatures for my nomination will be a success, and it will bring hope. It would also be a strong signal that society is finally waking up.
“I understand I can be hard to read for many people, because until now I’ve only expressed my views through my art. Now I have to formulate them in a decoded language.”
Mr Franz hopes to replace Václav Klaus, who has been President of the Czech Republic since 2003.