$95,000 Violin Found in NYC Alleyway

By | April 16, 2004 at 12:00 AM

An 18th-century Italian-made violin reported missing earlier this week was found in an alleyway near the Manhattan bar where its owner had left it, police said.

Odin Rathnam, the first-chair violinist for the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, had been in New York for a meeting and left the violin, along with a borrowed viola, at Yogi’s bar on the Upper West Side.

The violin, valued at about $95,000, was made by Bartolomeo Calvaros of Bergamo, Italy, between 1750 and 1755; the viola belonged to a friend.

Rathnam called himself “the luckiest man alive.”

“This is like a reunion,” he told the New York Post for its Thursday editions. “When you finally learn (to play the violin) and find an instrument you’re compatible with, it’s a relationship. You feel like you lost a loved one when you lose it.”

A patron at the bar, Noah Garden, told the Post he had “won” the violin in an impromptu fiddling contest at the bar. He said he pawned it for $600 but did not remember where the pawnshop was, the Post said.

It was unclear how the instruments, which were found by a maintenance worker Wednesday night, wound up in the alley.

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