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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, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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