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Why did director ram-raid the Elysée Palace? He was trying to save his theatre…

Details are emerging about last week’s car crash at the Elysée gates, from which a 67 year-old man was taken into custody.

He has been named as Attilio Maggiulli and in 1974 he founded the Comédie Italienne in Montparnasse. A student of Giorgio Strehler in Milan, Attilio and his wife Helene Lestrade have been running the show on a shoestring for almost four decades in a former police station and its adjacent sex shop. It is the only Italian theatre in France. Ten years ago, Attilio went on hunger strike to prevent the withdrawal of state subsidy. Now, it seems, he is even more desperate.

Attilio will be spending New Year either in a prison cell or in psychiatric care.

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