The Italian Almanac

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Luciano Lutring

The Machine-Gun Soloist

An Italian bank robber dubbed 'the machine-gun soloist' because he kept his gun in his violin case died in Milan. Luciano Lutring, 75, carried out a string of bank robberies in the 1960 and '70s and became a hero to some because of his daring and glamorous lifestyle.

He was arrested in Paris in 1965 and served 12 years of a 22-year-sentence, becoming an acclaimed painter and corresponding with future Italian president Sandro Pertini before France pardoned him. The pardon was confirmed by Italian president Giovanni Leone in 1977, allowing Lutring to return to his native Milan and carry on painting and writing.

Alain Delon played him in a film based on his autobiography, 'Lo Zingaro' (The Gypsy).