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Oldest Frenchman dies aged 109

Charles Louis de Antoni was a virtuoso trumpeter at the Opéra Comique

FRANCE’S oldest man, Charles Louis de Antoni, has died aged 109.

Mr de Antoni, who was an outstanding trumpeter in the orchestra of the Opéra Comique in Paris, died “peacefully” during the night of Monday to Tuesday at his retirement home in the Yvelines, said his nephew Paul Badin.

He told Le Progrès: “He knew he was the oldest: his daughter had told him, and I think it shocked him a bit, as did being made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres last July.”

Mr de Antoni spent five years in a prisoner of war camp in Germany during the Second World War; after the war, he lived in Le Vésinet, Yvelines. His father was Italian and had moved to France in the early 1900s.

He ascribed his longevity to not smoking and enjoying the good things in life. His daughter said he enjoyed “a good blow-out” and a glass of wine.

The oldest Frenchman now is Marc Chevalier, 108, and the oldest woman is Mathilde Aussant, 112.

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