A music mailing list I’m on posted this story from BBC News: Fall Destroys Rare Stradivarius.
Hands up if you saw that headline and thought immediately, “Who the fuck would let Mark E. Smith near a Stradivarius?” I had a very vivid mental image for a second there.
The 290-year-old violin isn’t actually destroyed–it’s in pretty critical condition, though, and will spend most of the rest of the year in the shop (the repair bill’s expected to exceed $100,000). Violinist David Garrett, who bought the pedigreed fiddle six or seven years ago, says the instrument “kind of saved [his] life” when he landed on it (in its case) after taking a spill on some slippery stairs.
You might feel like a doofus every time you wipe out on one of the poor man’s skating rinks that pass for sidewalks in Chicago, but at least you can take comfort in knowing that you didn’t break something worth more than a gold-plated unicorn.