Saturday, 31. January 2015 - 06:01
11. 08. 11. - 16:00
A priceless collection of violins stored with the world's biggest violin dealer has vanished after he was arrested for fiddling the books.
Dietmar Machold lived in a castle in Austria and owned a Rolls Royce Corniche and a VW Phaeton - travelling the world with his schoolteacher wife buying up rare violins.
His company Machold Rare Violins has been in the family five generations since it was founded in 1861 in Germany as a violin manufacturer.
But he fled Castle Eichbüchl at Katzelsdorf in Austria to Switzerland after he filed for bankruptcy and prosecutors announced they were investigating him for fraud.
He was arrested in Switzerland in March and is awaiting extradition back to Austria but now Austrian police say that a violin collection of 17 including five instruments from Antonio Stradivari and four from Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu have vanished.
Also missing are rare bows used to play the instruments that are similarly irreplaceable. Police said the violins were owned by big institutions that loaned them to the world's top musicians and it is believed they were being stored and cared for by Machold.
Now the collection easily worth over 50 million GBP has vanished.
Machold, who at the height of his fame had stores in Vienna, Zurich, New York City, Aspen, Chicago, Seoul and Tokyo had dealt in one in every two of the Stradivari and del Gesù violins in existence - making million in the process. In 2001 he sold a violin built by del Gesù for 1.6 million US-Dollars to a group of sixteen investors. In the spring of 2007, Machold obtained a price of more than 10 million Euros for four Stradivari violins.
But he told Spiegel that he had been forced to file for bankruptcy after buying violins worth millions that he had then not been paid for shortly before the market in the instruments collapsed - leaving him having borrowed heavily from banks with loans that he could not repay. He said: "I am expecting a down payment on a sale any day. Then the banks will love me again."
But the money never arrived and he filed for bankruptcy in October 22, 2010 in what he said was a "restructuring.". He was was arrested in Switzerland in March this year accused of embezzlement and grand commercial fraud, among other things. Machold is still in custody in a Swiss jail.
Mad About Mammoths At Vienna Museum
A unique exhibition in the Austrian capital Vienna has proved a massive hit after bringing together for the first time some of the most famous frozen woolly mammoth remains.
Spate of Crimes throughout Vienna and Lower Austria Solved
Four men have been arrested after committing 113 break-ins, 21 thefts and causing at least 260,000 Euros worth of damage.
Dad Punished Child, 2, With Boiling Hot Shower
A two-year-old girl is in an artificial coma and fighting for her life after her father threw her into a scalding hot shower leaving her with severe burns at the family home in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Police And Firemen Get Cold Turkey
Flipping the bird was given a new meaning in Austria this week when a truck filled with plucked turkeys overturned, closing a busy motorway in the process.
Halloween At The Zoo
Pumpkin pie might be the order of the day for people this Halloween but now zoo animals are also getting in on the act.
Baby Naked Mole Rats Born In Vienna
With their pink hairless bodies and fangs for front teeth, these baby naked mole rats were never going to win any cuteness contests at Schonbrunn Zoo in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Jihad Girls Gunpoint Retraction Of Desire To Go Home
Austrian anti-terrorism police believe that an interview given to a French magazine allegedly with one of the two teenage girls who fled to Syria to join in the jihad was probably carried out at gunpoint.
MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed
A corrupt MEP caught by a British newspaper offering to propose amendments to EU laws in exchange for 100,000 euros a year has been given a three-year-jail term.
Vienna Jihad Girls Want To Come Home
The two Austrian teenage girls who became â€˜poster girlsâ€™ for the jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.
Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed
Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days