Barack Obama

Obama's gifts include Lincoln statue from Hu Jintao, golf bag from Sarkozy

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 April, 2013, 2:53am

A luxury golf bag, a statue of Abraham Lincoln and an Australian rules football jersey formed part of a treasure trove given to US President Barack Obama in 2011.

The list of presents given to Obama by foreign governments or dignitaries released by the US State Department on Thursday revealed an Aladdin's cave of gifts, ranging from the modest to the lavish.

Several items reflected Obama's fondness for golf. Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy gave Obama an Hermes golf accessory bag valued at US$7,750, as well as Baccarat crystal statuettes depicting golfers at play. In all, the Sarkozys gave the Obamas US$41,675.71 in gifts that year alone.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's gifts to Obama included a golf putter as well as a training console.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper tapped into Obama's interest in hoops, giving him a basketball signed by members of the Toronto Raptors team. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's gifts included a specially designed red, white and blue Australian rules shirt with "USA Revolution" - than name of the US national team in the sport - on the front.

Other gifts to Obama were more formal, including a 1.2 metre bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln by the artist Yuan Xikun, given by former Chinese president Hu Jintao, valued at US$9,800.

Federal employees in the US must declare gifts from foreign governments or organisations with gifts to the president turned over to the National Archives.