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Museum of Musical Instruments appeals for return of missing items

08:38 08/02/2024

The Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) in Brussels has issued a plea for the return of around 160 instruments that have been stolen over the years.

MIM has published a list of the missing instruments in hopes of recovering as many as possible, RTBF reports.

Almost 10,000 instruments are kept in the MIM’s storeroom today, where curators including Pascale Vandervellen have been examining the records.

“We did a lot of work consulting the inventories, then starting from the archives and going into the storerooms to compare one with the other, and we realised that a number of instruments were missing,” Vandervellen told RTBF.

The missing instruments were stolen at a time when the collections were dispersed in buildings with poor security. Some were also loaned out without sufficiently up-to-date records.

“At the time, the idea was to hear the instruments and have them played,” explained Vandervellen.

“Today, we want to conserve and pass on our heritage, and we no longer lend out instruments.”

Curators said while there is very little chance these missing artefacts are mistakenly in the hands of private individuals, if someone discovers a stolen instrument in their home, the best thing to do is to contact the museum so that the problem can be resolved amicably.

The list of missing instruments is available in French and Dutch on the MIM website.

“Should you have any information on one of these collection items, no matter how insignificant that information may seem, we kindly ask you to reach the MIM by email or by phone (+32 2 545 01 30),” the museum said on its website.

Written by Helen Lyons