'Piano Man' flies back to Germany

The so-called Piano Man who triggered massive efforts to identify him after he was found wandering in Kent in April has been released from hospital.

On Monday the German foreign ministry confirmed the 20-year-old, who has not been named, was from Bavaria and had flown home on Saturday.

West Kent NHS and Social Care Trust, would not comment further on the case because of patient confidentiality.

The man, said to be an excellent pianist, was found on Sheppey in April.

A national newspaper reported on Monday that the man had finally broken his silence and stated he was German, before leaving the UK.

The health trust said the patient had been discharged following a marked improvement in his condition but the rules regarding patient confidentiality meant there would be no further statement.

The trust also declined to comment on the circumstances in which the patient left its care.

The German embassy in London said it had been contacted on Friday morning by the Little Brook Hospital, in Dartford, with a report of a man claiming to be a German national.

"We contacted his parents and his identification was confirmed," an embassy spokesman said.

"We gave him replacement travel documents and he left the UK using his own arrangements on Saturday morning.

"This was a neutral affair for us, it was someone who had lost his passport and needed to get back to Germany and we helped him."

'Stunning performance'

The man was first taken to Medway Maritime Hospital where he drew a picture of a grand piano and was then taken to the hospital chapel.

It was reported that health and social workers said they were "stunned" when he proceeded to give them a virtuoso performance.

However, newspaper reports now suggest he was only able to play one note continuously.

Theories put forward and later discounted included that the man was a French street musician and a Czech concert pianist.

A Norwegian speaker was brought in to try to communicate with the man, in his 20s or early 30s, after he pointed to Oslo on a map.

A ship from Norway was thought to have been in the area when he was found and there were suggestions that his suit was soaked because he had been in the sea.

His social worker Michael Camp claimed that his client "came to life" at the piano.

All the labels had been removed from his clothes when he was found on The Broadway in Minster, Sheerness.

Appeals led to a worldwide response which at its height generated more than 800 leads.

Medio: BBC News
Fecha: Lunes 22 de agosto de 2005
ID: 1935 Editar

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