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Italian rams gates of French presidential palace in protest

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

An Italian theatre manager rammed his car into the iron gates of an entrance to the French presidential palace Thursday to protest against subsidy cuts for his Paris venue, police said.

The action was seen as largely symbolic since Attilio Maggiulli "only succeeded in lightly hitting the grills at slow speed," a police source said.

"He was immediately arrested and placed in custody."

"If his aim was to be talked about, he has succeeded. But he may have to pay for that," a source close to the investigation said.

Other police sources said the 67-year-old, who runs a 100-seat theatre in the city's Montparnasse district, had staged another protest near the Elysee palace a few days ago, setting fire to a model of a harlequin.

He had scattered leaflets on the road slamming a cut in subsidies for his theatre, La Comedie Italienne, which stages classical and contemporary Italian works.

Maggiulli was briefly held for questioning by police following that incident.

A student of the well-known Italian opera and theatre director Giorgio Strehler, Maggiulli has a record of staging stunts to highlight his theatre's financial woes, including a hunger strike 10 years ago.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131226/italian-rams-gates-french-presidential-palace-protest