Stradivarius Stolen From Violinist Visiting London Cafe

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Why do expensive violins always go missing? Steve Inskeep has news of the latest: a Stradivarius stolen in a London sandwich shop when its owner stopped for a bite to eat.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Now we have a story about an art medium that's really old. This week, we learned a musician put down her Stradivarius violin to grab a bite at a cafe in London. The $2 million instrument disappeared, presumably stolen.

And yes, you've heard variations on this story before: The Stradivarius left on the train seat, the Stradivarius left in the cab, or what happened to Jim Wallenberg, who plays violin for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. A few years ago, he left his priceless instrument at a streetcar stop.

Mr. JIM WALLENBERG (Violinist, Toronto Symphony Orchestra): I don't know why I didn't think to turn and get that instrument. So distraction or just absent mindedness, anything deeper than that I can't go into.

INSKEEP: Could it be something about violin players? Because the fact is, Mr. Wallenberg had lost violins before.

Mr. WALLENBERG: I did leave it once on the subway. And then prior to that, I actually put a violin on the top of my car going home. So as long as I don't misplace my two-and-half-year-old twins, I'll be happy.

INSKEEP: Fortunately, Mr. Wallenberg always got his instruments back, although we have no word yet on the fate of the violin lost in London.

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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