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Circus director Sophie Edelstein
"In the circus we give to people dream, and we give them emotion"
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Tuesday, 16 January, 2001, 13:36 GMT
Artist 'undeterred' by crossbow accident
Elephants performing at the World Circus Festival
The World Circus Festival: Animals safer than weapons
A French performer who was shot in the eye with a crossbow bolt when a circus act went terribly wrong, may yet return to the big top.

Catherine Jamet, aged 39, is in serious condition in hospital, after the accident on Sunday, which occurred in front of 5,000 spectators at the World Circus Festival in Paris.

I am sure that, when she is better, the first thing she will want to do will be to put on her costume and go to do her act

Circus director Sophie Edelstein
But the director of the Pinder-Jean-Richard Circus, Sophie Edelstein, told the BBC it was unlikely she would give up the act, in which she poses with an orange on her head, and her husband, Alain, pulls the trigger.

"Her husband, it was a big shock for him. At the moment he says: 'No, I don't want to do this act again,'" Ms Edelstein said.

"But I know his wife and I am sure that, when she is better, the first thing she will want to do will be to put on her costume and go to do her act."

Infection risk

The bolt pierced Ms Jamet's skull, but doctors say she cannot be operated on for another week.

A baboon skips for the Paris audience
A baboon skips for the Paris audience
In the meantime, they are hoping she does not develop an infection.

However, Ms Edelstein said the performer could leave hospital within a few weeks.

She said it was up to the performers to decide whether to continue.

"This does not happen often, of course, but the artist must decide. They were very unlucky this Sunday," she said.

Show goes on

The couple, who are known as the Grey Arrow team, have been performing together for 14 years.

The shooting of the orange is normally the highlight of their act.

The Pinder-Jean-Richard circus plans to continue its tour of France.

A spokesman said the audience did not know what had happened until an emergency medical team rushed to the scene.

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