Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who recovered from COVID-19 and whose moving Easter performance sought to raise hopes during the pandemic, is striking a different public note, saying Italy's lockdown made him feel "humiliated and offended" by depriving him of his freedom. Bocelli spoke at a panel Monday in a Senate conference room, where he was introduced by right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini, who has railed against the government’s stringent measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Bocelli told the conference at the Senate that he resented not being able to leave his home even though he "committed no crime" and revealed, without providing details, that he violated lockdown restrictions, the AP reports.
At the height of lockdown, Italians could only leave home to go to essential jobs, walk dogs or buy food or medicine. Dismayed, Health Ministry Undersecretary Pierpaolo Sileri on Tuesday said that perhaps Bocelli "wanted to express the inconvenience of every Italian who, because of lockdown, stayed home." "I wouldn't have said those words, but I imagine he'll be able to explain it somehow,” Sileri added. The conference was held on the eve of Premier Giuseppe Conte's appearance in the Senate where he laid out his center-left government's case for extending for three months a state of emergency for the pandemic, which expires on July 31. Conte said the extension is aimed at preserving measures that allow an efficient response should the virus spike again, not to ‘:spread unjustified fears" among the population.