British paper reports man identified by mime as 'Piano Man' found in France

LONDON (AP) - A British newspaper reported Thursday that Steven Villa Massone - the man a Polish mime identified as the mysterious 'Piano Man' being cared for in an English hospital - has been tracked down in southern France.

The West Kent National Health Trust, which is caring for the man, said 700 people have called and more than 150 have sent e-mails offering clues about the identity of the man, who has not spoken since he was found, distressed and soaking wet, on the Isle of Sheppey April 7.

Social workers said a tip from a Polish mime living in Italy, who said the man is a French street musician, has not led to anything. Dariusz Dydymski had said he was "99 per cent certain" the pianist was Massone, with whom he had worked in the French resort of Nice.

But Britain's Independent newspaper reported Thursday that it had tracked down Massone in Nice.

"I found out this morning when I saw in the Italian papers that he had said that man was me," the Independent quoted Massone as saying. "I didn't understand what had happened and suddenly I had lots of calls asking if I was the pianist."

Reports that surfaced in British newspapers Thursday speculating that the man could be a Canadian eccentric have also not been verified.

Social worker Michael Camp, who is caring for the mystery pianist, said as many as 300 possible identities were being investigated, both in Britain and overseas, but he declined to give details.

"These have to be kept highly confidential," he said. "Names are being bandied about. It's not very helpful.

"It's a long process and I understand why, in the absence of any information from us, people in the media are coming up with things."

The man, who remains in a psychiatric unit in Dartford, England, is still drawing pictures and writing music of his own, Camp said.

"I don't think this is somebody who was living a normal life until April 7 and suffered a trauma," he said. "I think it's somebody who has been tipped over the edge."

Hospital officials released photograph Monday of the man, who is tall and thin with blond hair and believed to be in his 20s or early 30s.

He drew intricate pictures of pianos for staff at the Medway Maritime Hospital at Gillingham, where he was first taken, and performed snippets of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and the music of John Lennon on the chapel piano.

Agencias: AP
Autor: Sue Leeman
Medio: The Canadian Press
Fecha: Domingo 22 de mayo de 2005
Notas: © The Canadian Press 2005
ID: 1534 Editar

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