French musician robbed of million-euro cello at knifepoint

Award-winning soloist Ophélie Gaillard said the 18th-century cello was on loan from CIC bank

An award-winning French musician was robbed at knifepoint of her 18th-century cello, worth more than €1m, outside her home in a Paris suburb on Thursday evening.

The soloist Ophélie Gaillard told police her attacker also forced her to hand over her mobile phone before fleeing on foot in the north-eastern suburb of Pantin.

“Help! My cello was stolen this evening in a red dark flightcase,” Gaillard wrote in a Facebook post, accompanied by pictures of the instrument.

She said the cello, which was loaned to her by CIC bank and is valued at nearly €1.3m (£1.15m), was made by Francesco Goffriller, son of Venetian master cello-maker .

The case also contained her bow, which she said was the work of acclaimed 19th-century French bowmaker Jean Pierre Marie Persoit.

In 2003, Gaillard was named the best new instrumental soloist at the French classical music awards.

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