Armed Robber Snatches 300-Year-Old Stradivarius
Stun gun was used on Milwaukee concertmaster
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2014 3:39 AM CST
A similar Stradivarius, the "Lady Blunt" from 1721.   (Photo: Business Wire)

(Newser) – One of the most valuable instruments in the world was stolen Monday by a robber who used a stun gun on the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster in a parking lot before making off his with his priceless Stradivarius violin. "The artistic heritage of Milwaukee was assaulted and robbed last night," the city's police chief told reporters, estimating the 300-year-old instrument's value in the "high seven figures," reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The Lipinski Stradivarius, which was on indefinite loan from its anonymous owners, is wildly valuable only to a "tiny slice of the art world," the police chief says. "It can't be easily sold for even a fraction of its value." Police haven't ruled out the theft being a random street robbery, but they suspect it may have been stolen to order and are working with the FBI's art crimes unit. The orchestra's president says rare instruments like the Stradivarius, one of only around 600 in existence, are still in circulation because they "need to be played to live on," NBC reports.

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Sam the Sham
Jan 30, 2014 7:49 AM CST
Would you walk around with millions of dollars without an armed guard? Why would you do it carrying an object worth that amount. When you allow yourself to be helpless, carrying a fortune, in a world of thieves, then don't be surprised when it gets taken from you.
Jan 29, 2014 3:45 PM CST
I hope the idiot doesn't destroy it. The don't, indeed can't, make a Stradivarius-type instrument again. Current technology still hasn't figured out what gives those instruments their unparallelled sound, perhaps the type of wood & the way it was cured.
Charles P
Jan 29, 2014 10:59 AM CST
It could have been stolen for a wealthy person, as the story explains. BUT, I once was looking at a book on violins at the Public Library. Some black man got all angry and threatening (towards me), because he/some people HATE VIOLINS/CLASSICAL MUSIC! My point: It COULD BE A HATE crime, type of thing!