The violin is valued at somewhere upwards of $3.5 million.
Earlier this week the theft of a precious 300-year-old Stradivarius on loan to Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond was reported. The violin was taken during an armed robbery, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said Tuesday. Almond is a lecturer at Northwestern University. The robbery took place at around 10.30pm Monday in a parking lot in the rear of the school, 8815 W. Wisconsin Ave. The violinist had just played a concert at Wisconsin Lutheran as part of his Frankly Music series, when he was attacked with a stun gun. As he lay on the pavement, the attacker took off in a nearby vehicle, driven by an accomplice. The getaway car was described as a maroon or burgundy minivan.
“The artistic heritage of Milwaukee was assaulted and robbed last night,” Flynn told reporters during the conference at the Police Administration Building (quote via the Chicago Tribune).
The police believe that the expensive instrument, known in music circles as the Lipinski Stradivarius, was the primary target of the robbery. According to Flynn, the instrument is valued in the “high seven figures”. Describing the violin as “priceless”, the police chief also noted that it’s value could only be appreciated by a very small fraction of the population. In 2008, the Stradivarius was compared to another, sold at auction for over $3.5 million, the stolen violin.
Flynn explained that the well-known instrument couldn’t easily be sold for even a fraction of his actual value. “These are highly valuable to a tiny slice of the art world,” he explained. Almond, who is currently recovering from the attack, will not be playing this weekend.