$26 Million Stradivarius Cello Broken in Spain

May 7, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Epoch Times Photo
A 1729 Stradivari known as the 'Solomon, Ex-Lambert' is on display March 27, 2007 at Christie's in New York. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

A Spanish official said on Monday that a Stradivarius cello made in the 1600s, with an estimated worth of $26 million, was broken in an accident.

An official with the National Heritage, who was not named, told El Mundo newspaper that the cello’s neck “hit the edge of the table” and broke during a photo shoot, saying the incident took place around three weeks ago.

This cello is one of the instruments made by Italian Antonio Stradivari, whose works have been renowned through the centuries for the sound they produce.

El Mundo reported that the cello, though historically priceless, could probably get between 20 million and 22 million euros ($26–¬¬29 million) at an auction, citing experts with a Spanish luthiers association. The cello is part of a quartet of instruments, including two violins and a viola, that were made around the same time by Stradivari.

The official said the cello “can be easily repaired” and that the instrument’s neck, the place that broke, had been replaced before, a century after it was made, to alter its pitch to be more fashionable for the times, reported El Mundo. El Mundo stressed that the Heritage was likely attempting to downplay the incident.

The change applied to the instrument would not affect “the sound of the instrument,” the official added.