Sunday, January 18, 2009

Messiah Stradivarius

This is the famous Messiah Stradivarius. It is a beauty, no? It is currently housed in a British museum - the Ashmolean - almost in pristine condition. It is the closest thing to a virgin violin imaginable - it has never been played. According to most experts, it's priceless. For various reasons, I think it's a fake. If you care to research the history of this intriguing violin (I don't know why you would - you don't have the time), you might want to start with Stewart Pollens, one of the world's foremost authorities on this instrument. No one is allowed to get close to this magical violin - not since questions about its authenticity surfaced. It is rather sad that the truth about it cannot be conclusively determined, but only because commercial interests have decided not to rock the boat. Don't make too many inquiries or you might discover that Stradivari never existed.

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