US News 17th Century instrument destroyed on flight

21:10  09 january  2018
21:10  09 january  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Musicians are furious after a 17 th Century string instrument worth £148,000 was severely damaged during a flight . She posted photos of the damaged instrument on social media, showing it smashed in half with the hard case partly destroyed .

Myrna Herzog, who is a member of Phoenix Early Music Society, was given a document at the end of her trip informing her that the 17 th - century instrument was broken. Myrna is urging people to share her post on Facebook: Cellist prevented from boarding a flight because her cello ‘needed a visa’.

Musicians have expressed their outrage. Pic: Myrna Herzog © Other Musicians have expressed their outrage. Pic: Myrna Herzog Musicians are furious after a 17th Century string instrument worth £148,000 was severely damaged during a flight. 

Myrna Herzog claims she was forced to place her viola de gamba in the hold during an Alitalia flight from Rio de Janeiro to Tel Aviv.

She posted photos of the damaged instrument on social media, showing it smashed in half with the hard case partly destroyed.


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Myrna Herzog claims that Alitalia has damaged her 17 th century instrument during her flight from Rio to Rome in Italy. She took the issue on social media, published photos of her damaged ‘Lewis viola da gamba’, which was shared more than 50k.

Shocking pictures show how 17 th - century viola worth hundreds of thousands of pounds emerged from an Alitalia flight 'savagely vandalized'. This is the instrument of her employment - when it's destroyed , what do you do?

Fellow musicians have expressed dismay and anger at the way the beautiful instrument, which is slightly smaller than a cello and was popular with Henry VIII, was handled.

Mrs Herzog, director of Israeli classical music group Phoenix, said she asked to purchase a seat for her viol but was told the flight on 3 January was full.

She said they told her it would have to be put in the hold and was assured it would be hand carried and treated as a fragile item.

The Brazil-born musician did not see the instrument during her stop-over in Rome and when she arrived in Tel Aviv she had to go to the baggage reclaim desk as it did not appear.

"They went down to find it, and got back saying that it had arrived broken, and that I had to fill a form," she told musical news website the Strad.

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Because a 300-year-old viola da gamba – a stringed instrument resembling a cello – has been destroyed during a flight on Italian airline Alitalia. Herzog, musical director of the Israel-based early music ensemble Phoenix, wrote: ‘This is how Alitalia delivered to me my original 17 th century Lewis

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"After I did so they brought it, and the sight was really horrific. Even they were horrified."

The viola de gamba was smashed in half. Pic: Myrna Herzog. © Other The viola de gamba was smashed in half. Pic: Myrna Herzog. Mrs Herzog said over the past 40 years she has travelled with many viols but there is a growing "disrespect for the musician".

Thousands of musicians have taken to social media to support the director.

Mark Wickersham said: "This is beyond tragic. No amount of money can bring an ancient voice back to our world once it is silenced."

Patti Murray Lucas said: "All of us musicians are traumatised and horrified at the sight of this senseless carelessness! I am SO sorry."

However, some accused Dr Herzog of being careless. Paolo Tagliamento said: "Every musician buys an extra ticket if the instrument is not hand luggage.

"This is just a big lack of responsibility, 99% probability that this can happen. Never leave your instrument in somebody else's hands."

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This is how Alitalia delivered to me my original 17 th century Lewis viola da gamba, after ensuring to me that it would If you have a CONNECTING flight , why the hell would you leave your instrument in the hands of airport attendants? the-hold-for-alitalia- flight - destroyed -by-baggage-handlers/7421.article.

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Daniel Temnik added: "Next time buy a seat… like every other self-respecting musician does."

Alitalia said it "regretted" what happened but claimed she did not request an extra seat and after being offered one she refused despite being told "the best solution for such a delicate item was to bring it with her in the cabin".

A statement added: "That said, Alitalia deeply regrets what happened to Mrs Herzog and will proceed, having established the facts, with the reimbursement in compliance with the international regulations in force."

Mrs Herzog has refuted Alitalia's claim about being offered a seat, saying it is "a blatant lie".

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