The real story of the theft of a Stradivarius violin: how the movie "Visit to the Minotaur" gave thieves the idea of ​​crime
The real story of the theft of a Stradivarius violin: how the movie "Visit to the Minotaur" gave thieves the idea of ​​crime
David Oistrakh and his precious violin

Stradivari violins are renowned for their unique sound. These tools are exclusive, their cost is in the millions, and therefore at all times there were those who wanted to take possession of this treasure at any cost. Probably the most sensational in the twentieth century. was the theft of the violin of the famous musician David Oistrakh. He became the prototype for the violinist Polyakov in the Weiner brothers' novel "Visit to the Minotaur"… However, in fact, the theft of the violin did not take place before the writing of the novel, but … after its adaptation! The thieves took the events shown in the film as a guide to action.

E. Bundy. Antonio Stradivari, 1893

In 1968, the Western media reported that the apartment of the famous violinist David Oistrakh, who at that time abroad was called the "first violin of the world", was robbed in the USSR. From the musician's Moscow apartment during his tour in Italy, unknown persons took money in the amount of 120 thousand dollars, jewelry, photographs of famous musicians with donative signatures, sound recording equipment, etc. Surprisingly, the thieves did not touch the Stradivari violins - they did not its real value. In the USSR, newspapers were silent about this incident.

Famous violinist David Oistrakh David Oistrakh changes strings on his Stradivarius Marsik

The interest of the foreign public in this theft was so high that every single lost value was found and returned to the owner with record efficiency - within three months. The robber turned out to be B. Nikonov, who admitted to the investigation that he borrowed the idea of ​​disabling the security alarm from the movie How to Steal a Million: kicked the door of the apartment and thus provoked false calls until the alarm was turned off contrary to instructions.

Film A visit to the Minotaur suggested to the criminal the idea of ​​stealing a Stradivarius violin

This non-trivial story attracted the attention of the Weiner brothers, who based it on in 1972 wrote the novel "Visit to the Minotaur." But in the literary version, the criminals hunted just for the Stradivarius violin. And they stole it not from David Oistrakh, but from the professor and violinist Lev Polyakov.

Famous violinist David Oistrakh Left - David Oistrakh (far left) visiting Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, 1961. Right - Queen Elizabeth of Belgium visiting David Oistrakh, 1962

In the film adaptation of the novel of the same name, created in 1987, a real Stradivarius violin belonging to Oistrakh was used on the set. This instrument, made in 1671, was presented to the musician by Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, who was herself a good musician. After the death of the violinist, his family presented this violin as a gift to the Moscow State Museum of Musical Instruments. Glinka. They say that Oistrakh played it only twice - the miniature violin was too small for men's hands. The insured value of the instrument was $ 1 million. Only a few times a year she was removed from the museum window to participate in concerts of the best violinists, and during rehearsals she was played under police protection.

S. Shakurov as Antonio Stradivari Shot from the movie Visit to the Minotaur, 1987

Surprisingly, the movie "Visit the Minotaur" gave the idea to real thieves. On the night of May 23, 1996, two violins disappeared from the museum - the same Stradivarius and an instrument made by the 17th century German master Jacob Steiner. The criminals managed to "close" the alarm on the service entrance door in such a way that it remained in working mode, but did not react to the break-in. The loss was noticed only in the morning. Soon, a professor of the Moscow Conservatory, Dyachenko, was detained with Steiner's violin at customs while trying to take it abroad.But the Stradivarius violin was found only after a year and a half.

Shot from the movie Visit to the Minotaur, 1987 S. Shakurov in the film Visit to the Minotaur, 1987

Once an unknown person called the museum with a proposal to buy out the stolen violins. He demanded $ 1 million for them. The caller could not be detained. In confirmation that the tools are really with him, he sent a photo of them, and then a video. The meeting with him did not take place - the caller did not dare to come to the transaction.

Stealing a Stradivari violin has become a sensational crime

After a while, the attacker was detained in Sochi, and the violins ended up in a dilapidated house in a village on the border with Abkhazia. It turned out that there were two robbers, both of whom had been stealing since 1988. One of them was an avid gambler and told an incredible story: allegedly once in a casino he met representatives of a candidate for the presidency of Russia. And they offered him to steal some rarity, then call and demand a ransom, and the candidate's headquarters would collect the money and solemnly return the exhibit to the museum. Then the robber remembered the plot of the film "A Visit to the Minotaur", and he offered to steal a Stradivarius violin. When the deed was done, the customers abandoned their plans for unknown reasons.

Film A visit to the Minotaur suggested to the criminal the idea of ​​stealing a Stradivarius violin

The Stradivarius violin was damaged, but it was restored, and in 2002 it sounded again in one of the halls of the museum. And today you can hear How does a Stradivari guitar sound like, which is more than 300 years old

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