Open Thread – February 2014
“We violinists know how to look after of our violins.” [start watching around 7:25]
“We’re not engaging in the pretense that this is just any other crime,” Chief Flynn said on Thursday. “This is an extraordinary art theft. It is just as extraordinary as if some master criminal crept into the Milwaukee Art Museum and stole several of its most valuable pieces. It’s an inordinately rare violin of unquestioned provenance, made 300 years ago and worth a lot of money. So obviously we are treating this like much more than just another mugging.”
For Mr. Almond, the last few days have been a surreal combination of enforced silence — the police have advised him not to speak publicly about the theft — and psychic pain over having lost a beloved instrument that is both valuable and rare. Antonio Stradivari was, by common agreement among violin fanciers, the master builder of violins, a creator of instruments with a sound that subsequent makers have been at a loss to reproduce. Fewer than 650 of Stradivari’s violins survive, and Mr. Almond’s — which was given to him on “permanent loan” by an anonymous patron in 2008 — is regarded as a particularly fine example.