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The prominent Italian actor and director, Carmelo Bene, who died on March 16, 2002, was another great admirer of Collodi's puppet and produced and acted in many theatrical versions of Pinocchio over the years. He is quoted in the March 18, 2002, La Repubblica as having said regarding Pinocchio: "E' una condizione esistenziale, quella di Pinocchio, che io elogio da artista monaco di clausura quale ormai sono a tutti gli effetti, dopo anni e anni trascorsi come chierico vagante ... a questo punto solo Pinocchio costituisce la mia palestra preferita, non trasgressiva, dove sono fuori di me, e mi riconosco in una vanitÓ infantile in cui m'assumo responsabilitÓ e leggerezza" (Pinocchio's condition is an existential one, which I praise as an artist-monk such as I now effectively am after having spent years as a wandering priest ... at this point only Pinocchio makes up my preferred and non-transgressive playground where I am outside of myself, and I recognize myself in a childish vanity by means of which I take onto myself responsibility and lightness).

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