Finns appeal for return of 1,200 pages of Sibelius
An urgent appeal from Professor Timo Virtanen, editor-in-chief of the works of Jean Sibelius:
‘Some time ago, a large and valuable collection of Sibelius manuscripts which had been in a publishing archive in Germany since the early 1900s, was offered again for sale. The collection includes over 1,200 pages of various manuscripts, including Sibelius’s own purely written notes for the string quartet Voces intimae, the Svanevit suite for orchestra, and the music for the plays Pelleas and Mélisande and Belsazar’s Feast, arranged for piano. In addition, the collection contains important source material for the violin concerto, the third symphony and the symphonic poem Nightride and Sunrise. Now the fate of the collection – the largest known in the Sibelius research circle still wanders without a permanent home in the world – seems to be completely unclear. As a national treasure, Sibelius’ manuscripts are invaluable.
‘Today, a disaster is again imminent: one of our national treasures is in danger of ending up in an unknown country and at an unknown address. I hope it is a common interest, but also our duty and responsibility to nurture our unique national property and cultural heritage.’