French President Emmanuel Macron is taking the heat on social media for ordering a custom set of porcelain dinner plates, reportedly costing €500,000.
But according to the state, the 1,200-piece set, chosen by First Lady Brigitte Macron, cost €50,000.
The report by the French satirical magazine, Le Canard enchaîné, reported that a single, unadorned plate costs €400.
Under the hashtag #VaisselleGate (Dishgate), one Twitter user said the story is just lacking France's First Lady "stitching dresses in gold thread."
The news comes just days after Macron complained about the "crazy amounts of dough" spent on social security.
Macron's head of communications, Sibeth Ndiaye, circulated a video on Tuesday in which the French president is heard energetically saying: "Look where we are on welfare. We plough a shedload of cash into subsistence benefits, and people are still poor."
The Presidency said on Thursday that a replacement for table service was needed as some of the Élysée crockeryis getting old and dates back to Jacques Chirac's time as president over a decade ago, and some even from René Coty's time in the 1950s.
The culture ministry allocated some € 50,000 to pay around 30 artists chosen to submit proposals for the new "Elysee Blue" bone china collection.
The winner of the contest was French visual artist Evariste Richer, who will design the pieces produced by the prestigious Sevres porcelain factory. It is a state-owned company founded under the reign of Louis XV to produce royal china.
The presidency also said the cost of the new collection, to be delivered over three years, would be covered by the annual subsidies to the Sevres factory, which are expected to reach about €4.5 million this year.
It added that the order will not lead to increased subsidies.