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Mysterious Piano Man 'exposed as fake'.

Star The mysterious so-called Piano Man has been discharged from the care of a NHS Trust after being exposed as a fake, according to reports. Following a "marked improvement" in his condition, the unidentified man is no longer being treated, a spokesman for the West Kent NHS and Social Care Trust said. Social workers have spent tens of thousands of pounds over months trying to help the man, who had been silent since he was found wandering aimlessly near a beach on the Isle of Sheppey in April wearing a dripping wet suit and tie. He was dubbed the Piano Man by the media after the Trust said he "played classical music beautifully for four hours" to carers. But today a newspaper reported that the man finally broke his silence last week, revealing to staff that he was a gay German who had made his way to the UK on the Eurostar after losing his job in Paris. It is claimed that he was trying to commit suicide when police picked him up on the Kent beach in April. Reports said the man used to work with mentally-ill patients and is thought to have copied some of their characteristics to fool doctors into believing he had a strange illness. It is also claimed that he could only actually tap one key repeatedly on the piano, rather than recite pieces of classical music. Various lines of inquiry were thrown up, including suggestions that he was a musician from the Czech Republic and a student living in Norway, but most were proved to be false. Labels removed from clothing All efforts to communicate with the man, thought to be in his 20s or early 30s, had failed despite various interpreters being used and special techniques employed by health workers. An upright piano was installed in his room at the secure mental health unit in Dartford where he was being held, and doctors considered using music and art therapy to try and communicate with him. Bizarrely, all the labels from the clothes he was wearing when he was found by police on April 7 had been removed, making it even harder to identify him. At one point he was given a pen and paper in the hope he would write his name or draw his country's flag but instead he drew highly detailed pictures of a grand piano. The newspaper quoted an insider at the Little Brook Hospital in Dartford as claiming: "A nurse went into his room last Friday and said 'Are you going to speak to us today?' He simply answered 'Yes, I think I will.' "We were stunned. He has been with us for months and we have got nowhere with him. We thought he was going to be with us for ever." A Trust spokesman would not comment on the details of the report in the Daily Mirror, but said: "The patient dubbed the Piano Man is no longer in the care of the West Kent NHS and Social Care Trust. "He has been discharged from our care following a marked improvement in his condition. "The rules regarding patient confidentiality mean that the Trust is unable to make any further comment on this story." "This includes any comment on his condition, current location or the circumstances in which he left the Trust's care." The German embassy in London said it had been called by health officials in Kent about the case, and had then contacted the man's family in Germany to verify his identity. A spokesman said: "The hospital called us up on Friday morning saying that there was a man claiming to be a German national. "We contacted his parents and his identification was confirmed. We gave him replacement travel documents and he left the UK using his own arrangements on Saturday morning." The Daily Mail Mysterious Piano Man 'exposed as fake'

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Publication:The Star (Amman, Jordan)
Date:Aug 28, 2005
Words:660
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