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Valuable Violin Lost When Left On Top of Car

April 17, 1987

GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) _ A rare violin borrowed from the Springfield Symphony Orchestra was lost when the mother of a young musician put it on top of her car and absent- mindedly drove off, police said Friday.

″In one minute’s carelessness, I feel like my life has been destroyed,″ said Paula Horowitz of Amherst. The violin, made by Carcassi Lorenzo in 1746 and valued at $31,000, was on loan to her 15-year-old son Jason, concertmaster for the Springfield Youth Symphony.

She said she picked up the violin Wednesday in Springfield and drove to a nursing home in Greenfield, where she picked up a 77-year-old woman to take her for a ride.

″I must have stuck it up top (of the car),″ she said. ″I somewhat hurt my back lifting the wheelchair into the back and was paying attention only to the pain when I got into the car.″

Detective Howard Claine said passing motorists reported seeing a violin case lying along part of the route Mrs. Horowitz drove.

Claine said one motorist who saw the case said it was gone when he drove back along the road 15 minutes later.

Asked why such a valuable instrument had been loaned out, Steven Bronfenbrenner, executive director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, said Friday: ″This is the purpose of having the violin, to be be available to musicians who need it.″

″To have the true value of a valuable instrument be realized, it must be used,″ he said.

Bronfenbrenner said the symphony’s insurance would cover the missing instrument.

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