Stolen Stradivarius violin makes national headlines
MILWAUKEE -- Musicians with the Jazz Institute at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music have been closely following the story of the stolen Stradivarius.
"It stunned everyone, especially musicians," said Mark Davis, Chair of the Jazz Institute. "This of course was a very special instrument, a terribly valuable one. It is a cultural gem for Milwaukee."
Davis said he became obsessed with the developing details of the theft and was relieved when he found out the violin was recovered.
"Just to know the violin will be back where it's supposed to be. An instrument like this needs to be played, not just for the care of the instrument but so that people can hear it, "said Davis.
Stefan Hersh, a violin curator out of Chicago, plans to authenticate the recovered Stradivarius and check for any damage. Hersh said he got a call from MSO concertmaster Frank Almond. He says Almond told him the violin was found stowed in a suitcase. Hersh said Almond told him two bows were also found. Those bows are considered antiques and worth hundreds of dollars.
"Posterity should be smiling, " said Hersh. "One of the virtues of these objects is it's almost impossible to steal them because you can't resell them if they are stolen."
Hersh calls the robbery a well-executed but poorly conceived conspiracy to steal a violin.
What makes the Stradivarius so precious, Hersh said, is that they continue to be functionally superior to any violin produced today.