A British man left an extremely valuable old Italian violin on a train luggage rack – now it’s missing.
LONDON – A retired shipping consultant said he lost an expensive 17th-century violin after forgetting it on a train. Rob Napier said he did not realize the instrument, made by master Venetian craftsman Matteo Goffriller in 1698, was still on the train’s luggage rack until it began pulling out of the station.
“I think you can imagine the awful, kind of pit-in-your-stomach feeling,” Napier, 67, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Monday. “My first instinct was: Can I jump on top of the train? But that was obviously stupid.”
Napier said he was on his way home to Bedwyn, some 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of London, on Jan. 29 after retrieving the violin from an expert who had valued it at about 200,000 pounds (US$390,000; euro245,000). Napier called the train company, but by the time the train reached its final destination, the instrument was gone.
Napier said the violin belonged to his mother, who died in 2006. A professional violinist, she bought the Goffriller from a dealer in 1945. She said later she had wanted a fine instrument to match the quality of those played by her colleagues in the well-known Ebsworth String Quartet, an all-female group, Napier said.
A reward of up to 10,000 pounds (about US$20,000 euro12,000) was being offered for the instrument’s recovery, he said.
TheÂ British Transport PoliceÂ confirmed it was investigating the theft of a “very high value violin.”