Following a restoration that took more than a year to be completed, the precious Stradivarius dated 1734 is back in all its glory and it amazed the ears of the lucky public that had the opportunity to listen to it being played by violinist Mira Wang during a private concert organized in Manhattan, New York.
The almost unique violin, which belonged to Roman Totenberg, violinist of Polish origin who died in 2012 at 101 years old, is an “Ames Stradivarius” – of which only 550 copies exist – and it is worth millions of dollars. It was stolen during a concert in Cambridge, Mass. in 1980 by Philip Johnson, another violinist, who took advantage of the fact that Totenberg was distracted greeting the public, and seized it.
In 2015, when Johnson was about to die, he showed his ex-wife a violin case that he kept locked in the basement of his house. After Johnson’s death, the woman, trying to get the instrument valuated, realized that it was the stolen Stradivarius and she returned it to the Totenberg family, three years after the lawful owner had died.
However, according to rumors reported by the Washington Post, Johnson never kept the violin hidden during those years, on the contrary, he, apparently, played it even in public.
Ilona Catani Scarlett