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29 January 2014, 12:28
The 300-year-old violin with a seven figure price tag was taken from Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond in an armed robbery.
Almond was attacked with a taser and robbed in a car park, following a concert at Wisconsin Lutheran College. The robber fled to a nearby vehicle, described as a maroon or burgundy minivan driven by an accomplice, which then left the scene.
Speaking at a news conference Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn urged anyone with details to contact the police department, or the Symphony Orchestra, describing the theft as an 'international' crime.
"It can't be easily sold for even a fraction of its value," he said. "These are wildly valuable to a tiny slice of the art world."
The instrument, known as the Lipinski Stradivarius, was on indefinite loan to Almond from its anonymous owners. Its previous owners include the 18th century virtuoso Giuseppe Tartini, and Polish violinist Karol Lipinski.