Alitalia dodges responsibility for smashed viol

Alitalia dodges responsibility for smashed viol


norman lebrecht

March 18, 2018

An update from Myrna Herzog, whose period instrument was broken by the dodgy Italian airline:

Two months have passed and I am still waiting for Alitalia’s promise to “share soon the full picture” and reply to my request of compensation of the material damage to my gamba, bow and case.

On January 16th they wrote to me that “a deep investigation is still being conducted” but until now they haven’t explained how the instrument was smashed, and why are so many wooden bits and pieces missing.

I provided them all that they demanded on behalf of their insurance company, Assicurazioni Generali: photos of the instrument inside and out, before and after the accident, a certificate of value and of authenticity.  And… nothing, no answers, silence.

So I made this 4 minute film, which contains also new photos of the restoration.


  • mr oakmountain says:

    Beautiful performance!!!

    Who knows, this could be made a compulsory training film for airport staff … or maybe those workes could be given a short free performance by inpirational instrumentalists. I wonder whether this would make the personnell responsible for moving luggage more aware of what they are handling … or the airlines could pay them decent wages and introduce quality control measures ….

  • mr oakmountain says:

    Please keep us updated on the restauration!

  • Pat Hanchet says:

    Unusual-looking viol with what looks like a cello shape from the front.
    I wonder what its history is.

  • Sue says:

    You’re all expecting too much for a nation which has used violin cases for other things apart from containing a valuable musical instrument!! 🙂

  • Alejandro Berger says:

    Shameful. Airlines only care about the bottom line.

  • Sharon Beth Long says:

    As I mentioned before, when workers are under quotas and time pressures, stuff like this is going to happen

  • Sebastian says:

    I don’t understand why people still think putting a valuable and fragile instrument in a lightweight case marked ‘Fragile’ is going to be ok! Imagine you had a glass chandelier worth €100,000. Would you pack it into a case and hope? It may be expensive to buy a seat, but this only illustrates that actually there is no option, and you cannot blame the airline for that (ignoring the fact of course that airlines don’t have their own luggage handlers, airports do)