$4 million Stradivarius violin stolen in Germany

HANNOVER, Germany (AP) -- Police say a violin made by Antonio Stradivari and valued at some $4 million has been stolen from a manor house in northern Germany.

Police spokeswoman Edda Noethel says the break-in at Bennigsen manor near Hannover occurred on Friday evening.

She said on Tuesday that silver candlesticks, an oil painting, medals belonging to the owner's family and two violins -- including the Stradivarius -- were taken. The manor houses an annual classical music festival.

Stradivari lived from 1644-1737. He made more than 1,100 violins, of which some 600 survive. The bowed string instruments are coveted because of their beauty and superior sound qualities.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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