Lifestyle & Belief

Priceless Stradivarius cello damaged in Spain


A French chemist checks a Stradivarius violin at the restoration and research laboratory of the Musee de la Musique in Paris, on December 3, 2009.


Patrick Kovarik

A Stradivarius cello housed in the Spanish Royal Palace just went from priceless to worthless.

The Spanish paper El Mundo reported the cello, made in the 17th century, fell off a table during a photo shoot.

The Associated Press spoke with an anonymous National Heritage official who confirmed the cello was damaged, but refused to comment on how. 

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According to NPR, the cello was believed to be worth more than $20 million.  El Mundo quoted a member of the Guild of Luthiers and Archers of Spain, who estimated at auction the instrument could reach an amount between 20 and 22 million euros. El Mundo noted other musical historians find it priceless for its historical value. 

The unnamed heritage official told El Mundo the photographer and experts set the cello on its side to photograph it when it tipped forward, knocked against a table, and the neck broke from the body. Heritage officials told El Mundo, the piece that broke was not a part of the original cello and was in fact also a replacement part attached to the body in the 19th century, according to the AP

An official told the AFP they are confident they can restore the cello saying, "The instrument can be easily repaired. These things happen, and unfortunately it happened to us this time. It is in good hands and we will all still be able to enjoy the music of this cello."

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