Avignon's far-right candidate backs arts festival

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PARIS (AP) — The far-right candidate for mayor of Avignon has criticized the director of the French city's famed theater festival but promised he would not interfere with its programming.

Festival director Olivier Py had threatened to relocate the summer event if the anti-immigration National Front party takes power in Sunday's municipal vote. Py said it would be would be "unimaginable" to work with a National Front city council.

National Front candidate Philippe Lottiaux, who has a chance of winning, said Wednesday if he does he would let the festival director decide all his programs. But he denounced Py for "pseudo-blackmail" from the "intelligentsia of the left."

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