Man drives into French presidential palace grill in protest

Man drives into French presidential palace grill in protest

PARIS - An Italian man drove his car into the iron grills of a back entrance of the French presidential palace Thursday to protest against subsidy cuts for a Paris theatre he manages, police said.

The action was seen as largely symbolic since the man, who was not named, "only succeeded in lightly hitting the grills at slow speed," a police source said.

"He was immediately arrested and placed in custody," the source added.

Other police sources said the man, who runs a 100-seat theatre in the city's Montparnasse district, had staged another protest outside the presidential palace a few days ago, igniting the model of a harlequin.

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

The man was released after questioning by police in the earlier incident.

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