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Experts determine if and when recovered violin can be played again

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BROOKFIELD (WITI) -- With the Thursday, February 6th announcement that the 300 year old Lipinski Stradivarius violin has been recovered, experts will be assessing the instrument's condition to determine if, and when, it can be played again.

The violin's caretaker and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Frank Almond, had a chance to see photos of the instrument after it was recovered. MSO President Mark Niehaus relayed Almond's thoughts.

"None of his words were 'oh no, look at this scratch, it's broken' or anything. It looks the way it's supposed to look," said Niehaus.

According to experts, it's possible the violin has some damage.

"This is what can happen to a violin in extreme temperature changes -- mostly cold -- you get cracking like that. You get seams," said Mark Pierret, a strings instrument repair technician at Brass Bells in Glendale. "I believe it could be fixed. Anything could be fixed."

Many are crossing their fingers that Almond will be able to play the violin at the Wilson Center of the Arts in Brookfield on Monday, February 10th. Everyone is thankful, however, that Almond is okay and will be performing as scheduled, with or without the Lipinski Strad.

"The program was designed to highlight this extraordinary history of the life of this instrument," said Wilson Center executive director Jonathan Winkle. "These instruments need to be in the hands of people like Frank, to be able to share what, nearly 300 years ago, Stradivari created in his shop in Cremona, Italy."

Monday's event was scheduled more than a year ago to celebrate the violin and its performer. Almond will be reunited with the instrument this weekend when he returns from Florida.

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