Sunday, 23 January 2022

British railway searches for missing rare violin

photo via Shutterstock

LONDON: A British railway company said it was helping a renowned violinist track down a 310-year-old violin he accidentally left on a train.

Southeastern, which runs commuter services to London, is working with police to try to locate the instrument, worth a reported £250,000 ($321,000, 289,000 euros).

Renowned musician Stephen Morris accidentally left the violin, which was made by Roman master craftsman David Tecchler in 1709, on a suburban train last Tuesday.

“We’re doing everything we can to find Stephen’s treasured violin,” Southeastern said in a statement.

“Our colleagues have already been going above and beyond to see if it we can find out what has happened to it.”

The train company added its staff and officers from the British Transport Police were reviewing security camera footage from the train as well as stations.

Morris was due to play the violin while leading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in two Andrea Bocelli concerts at the weekend, according to the BBC.

He was able to borrow another violin from his wife – who is also a professional musician – for the performances.

Morris told the broadcaster he was “devastated” about leaving the antique on the train when he disembarked with his bicycle at Penge East station in southeast London.

“It’s devastating to lose it and quite apart from its value, it’s my livelihood,” he told the BBC.

“I was really only its custodian — one of many people who have played it — and I had hoped to pass it on to another violinist eventually.

“It is like having my arm cut off,” he said.

The instrumentalist, who has played on film scores including The Lord of the Rings and James Bond movies, and recorded with David Bowie and Stevie Wonder, has begged for its return.

Tecchler was part of the renowned Roman School of Violin Making in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Morris said he bought his instrument, which had been recently restored, in 2003 and described it as “a piece of history”.

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