French President Nicolas Sarkozy and right-wing opponent Jean-Marie Le Pen have turned the 600th birth anniversary of Joan of Arc into an occasion to showcase their patriotism by claiming association to the medieval martyr.

"She surely does not belong to parties who never speak of her or only speak of her during election campaigns," the AFP has quoted Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front as telling a crowd of around 150 supporters who gathered at a Joan of Arc statue in Paris. Le Pen's daughter Marine is the front's candidate in this year's presidential election.

"Joan doesn't belong to any party, any faction, any clan," Sarkozy said, referring to Jean-Marie's claim that the legacy of the Maid of Orleans more associated with his party's ideology, AFP reported.

Check out photos of France's National Front gathering celebrating the anniversary of Joan of Arc's birth in Paris:

France's former far right Front National party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen delivers a speech as he attends a gathering to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Joan of Arc's birth in Paris January 7, 2012.Reuters
Jean-Marie Le Pen delivers a speech as he attend a gathering to celebrate the birth anniversary of Joan of Arc's birth in Paris on 07/01/2012.Reuters
Marine Le Pen France's National Front head and candidate for 2012 French president election leaves a gathering celebrating the 600th anniversary of Joan of Arc's birth in Paris January 7, 2012.Reuters
The sculpture of Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc with a sword is seen during celebrations of the 600th anniversary of the birth of French heroine Joan of Arc in Domremy.Reuters