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Russia Turns to Interpol to Find Owner of Purported 'Stradivarius'

Published: May 29, 2014 (Issue # 1813)



  • The stringless violin was labeled “Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1721,” seemingly indicating it had been built by legendary violin maker Antonio Stradivari.
    Photo: Interior Ministry website

Russian investigators have appealed to international police organization Interpol for assistance in tracking down the owner of what was labeled as an antique Stradivarius violin that was confiscated during a police raid.

Tver region police discovered the instrument while raiding the home of a man suspected of having committed several robberies in the area, the Interior Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

The stringless violin, which was stored in a black case, was labeled "Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1721," the report said, seemingly indicating it had been built by the legendary Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari.

On closer examination, however, experts at the Glinka Museum of Musical Culture in Moscow concluded that the instrument was in fact of German descent, and was likely built in the late 19th century.

Counterfeit Stradivarius labels are not uncommon among string instruments, since the name alone propels their value by millions of dollars.

In 2011, the "Lady Blunt" — a Stradivarius violin stemming from the same year as the suspected Tver counterfeit — was auctioned off for $15.9 million to an anonymous bidder by Japanese auction house Tarisio.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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