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Thieves steal 100 antique string instruments

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Thieves steal 100 antique string instruments
The angel head cello is worth around €30,000. Photo: Nando Patera
12:01 CET+01:00
Thieves have stolen around 100 antique instruments worth €150,000 from a collector's house in Bremen. The owner has offered €20,000 for their return in an online appeal.

Suspects broke into 28-year-old Nando Patera's house in Bremen on Friday. They left with 100 instruments, including violins, cellos, violas and viols, worth €150,000.

“One of the violins, an Italian antique, was worth €50,000,” he told The Local, adding that he believes someone he knows took them. “It was known in my social circles that I had them at home,” he said.

“They could be sold off in China or Russia, where it's harder to trace their origin,” he said.

Patera can't play a string instrument himself, but makes a living from trading in them.

Bremen police said that as of yet they had no leads, apart from that there was reportedly a light-coloured van parked outside the house in Gröpelingen, a Bremen suburb, at around 1pm on Friday.

“Such a large haul is unusual,” a spokesman told The Local on Tuesday morning.

Patera has put pictures of the instruments online and an appeal on eBay began getting attention this week.

One of the more notable items taken was a Viennese cello with a carved angel's head at the top of the neck. "It's worth about €30,000," he said.

Other instruments include a violin made by 18th Century Austrian luthier Leopold Widhalm, a Paul Bailly violin and a Hill and Sons violin.

There were, Patera said, many other antique models from Germany, France, Italy and the UK in the process of being restored.

“I have to start over,” he said, admitting that he perhaps should not have put his home address on his website.

READ MORE: Outcry over arrest of German 'book thief'

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