Stradivarius musical instruments are renowned worldwide as some of the greatest ever shaped by the hand of man. Of the roughly 1,000 violins, cellos, guitars and others that Antonio Stradivari created in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, only 650 exist today and are only played by world-class musicians.
So you’d think people might be careful with them.
According to an official at Spain’s Royal Palace in Madrid, a Stradivarius cello worth more than $20 million has been damaged. The Spanish newspaper El Mundo explained that the prized cello broke after falling off a table during a photo shoot three weeks ago.
No details have been released as to how the cello fell off the table, in what manner it was damaged or the identity of the butterfingers who dropped it, but according to the report, a piece that joins the neck to cello’s body broke and fell off. According to the Daily Mail, the palace official said the broken piece was a replacement installed in the 19th century and will be repaired.
The cello is one of five Stradivarius cellos acquired by King Felipe V of Spain in the 18th century. Tim Ingles, head of the musical instrument department at Sotheby’s auction house in London, estimated its worth at $20 million.