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September 20, 2017

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French artist Jacques Picoux dies after fall

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Jacques Picoux, a retired lecturer on French language and literature at National Taiwan University (NTU) and a painter, has died after falling to the ground from the top floor of a 10-story building on Sunday, Taipei police said.

Local police were informed of the incident in Wenshan District on Sunday afternoon and later identified the dead man as the French native, who played a role in Hou Hsiao-hsien's film "The Assassin."

Police concluded after a preliminary investigation that Picoux fell to the ground from his rented 10th-floor apartment and died at once.

They said they did not find any signs of fighting or a struggle in Picoux's apartment or on the building's rooftop and have ruled out the possibility of foul play.

But the investigation will continue to more clearly determine the circumstances behind the fall, the police said.

Picoux died at the age of 67, less than one month before his 68th birthday. The death shocked people acquainted with the French teacher, who was a translator for Malaysian-Chinese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang.

When told of the news, Tsai seemed stunned. After several seconds of silence, he said "What? When? (I am) very shocked, very shocked," according to an Apple Daily report on Monday.

Describing Picoux as an artist who was an excellent painter, Tsai was cited by the paper as saying he felt sad after hearing the bad news.

Picoux, who held a master's degree from University Paris Diderot (Paris Diderot University, also known as Paris 7), had lived in Taipei since 1979, when he and compatriot Francoise Zylberberg came to Taiwan for a two-year exchange program between Paris 7 and NTU.

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