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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, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during today’s Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the center’s Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonight’s performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Center’s Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodina’s website for more details.



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