Coronavirus: Opera star Andrea Bocelli says he was 'humiliated and offended' by Italy's lockdown

July 27, 2020

Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli has attacked his government over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, saying the nationwide lockdown was humiliating.

The tenor was speaking at a conference, where he admitted he broke the coronavirus lockdown rules because he felt he "had committed no crime."

Bocelli's comments came as a surprise, after the 61-year-old became a symbol of unity in Italy when he sang in an empty cathedral in Milan during a live-streamed performance called Music for Hope.

The 61-year-old also said that he did "not think it was right or healthy to stay home at my age," adding that he does not believe the pandemic was as bad as the government made out, owing to not personally knowing anyone admitted to intensive care with the disease.

"So what was all this sense of gravity for?" he said.

The blind singer also encouraged others to break the mask-wearing and social distancing rules, saying: "Let's refuse to follow this rule.

"Let's read books, move around, get to know each other, talk, dialogue."

Early in the global outbreak, Italy was seen as a coronavirus epicentre and to date, more than 35,000 people in the country have died.

It was one of the earliest countries to go into lockdown, and gradually eased its way out over three months.

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