Alleged Stradivarius violin found in burglar hideout in Russia
MOSCOW, May 28 (RAPSI) – The police have found an alleged Stradivarius violin during a search of a suspected burglars’ flat in Tver, a city north of Moscow. Interpol is searching for the violin’s owner, the Russian Interior Ministry announced on its website on Wednesday.
“While searching the flat of the criminal gang leader, the police found an antique violin in a black case. The violin had no strings. A small piece of paper pasted inside had a Latin inscription, Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1721,” the statement says.
However, according to the police, an examination of the violin at the Glinka National Museum Consortium of Musical Culture in Moscow established that the violin was actually made in Germany at the end of the 19th century.
Antonio Stradivari, born presumably in 1644, was a famous Italian crafter of string instruments. He is believed to have made 1,000 to 1,100 instruments of which around 650 survive, including 450 to 512 violins. It is generally recognized that he made his best instruments in 1698-1725, and the very best in 1715. He labeled his instruments with an inscription in Latin: Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno [date].
Stradivarius violins are highly valued by musicians and collectors, and hence also thieves. Last year a Stradivarius was sold at an auction for $2.3 million.