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New official Swiss Federal Council photo released

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The official Swiss Federal Council photograph for 2019 has been released.

The photograph features all seven of Switzerland’s Federal Councillors and was taken by students at the Federal Office of Informatics and Telecommunications (BIT).

Looking from from left to right, the photograph shows Walter Thurnherr, Viola Amherd, Simonetta Sommaruga, Guy Parmelin, Ueli Maurer, Ignazio Cassis, Alain Berset and Karin Keller-Sutter.

The above are all part of Switzerland’s seven-member executive known as the Federal Council, responsible for policy on defence, national roads, energy and external relations, among other things.

The photograph is titled “Perspective Change”.

Although the student creators were allowed to plan and design all aspects of the entire image, Federal President Ueli Maurer’s one stipulation was that it had to be taken with a smartphone.

Traditionally, the President is allowed to act as “artistic director” for the project.

Maurer has said that he is proud of the students but reaction online has been more mixed.

The students involved were Joel Burger, Julia Baumgartner, Dominique Schürch, Jan Peter, Lara Bichsel, Michelle Berger and Yannic Doutaz.

They explained that, as the photo features President Maurer taking a photo of Swiss citizens, they wanted to suggest that his focus (and that of the Federal Council) is on the people.

A new official Federal Council photo is taken and printed every year. This year, 45,000 photos were printed.

From January 3rd 2019, the photograph is freely available online – as are previous efforts dating back to 1993.

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