Associated Press - 10 May 2004
MILAN, Italy (AP) ó Intruders broke into the family tomb of legendary Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini, damaging his daughter's tombstone and opening her coffin before fleeing, police said Saturday.
The motive was unclear, given that nothing was believed to have been stolen. Also, the damage was limited to the tomb of Wanda Toscanini Horowitz, the daughter of the conductor and wife of the great pianist Vladimir Horowitz.
Police Col. Marco Rizzo said the culprits had left no clues as to their identities. "It surely wasn't an act of vandalism," he said, citing the fact that they didn't leave graffiti. "There were at least two people involved, maybe a third person. We don't know."
The intruders broke into the large monumental tomb Thursday night, although it wasn't noticed until the following day. The culprits entered, pulled open a grate to the underground chamber, but ignored Toscanini's coffin.
Instead, they smashed a marble tombstone covering the coffin of Wanda, who died in 1998. They opened the coffin, then left, Rizzo said. He said it was possible the intruders may have been hunting for jewels on Wanda's body.
Rizzo said the investigation was ongoing, but that there were no suspects yet. In addition to Toscanini and his children, the pianist Horowitz is also buried in the tomb.
Toscanini was born in Parma in 1867, and showed virtuosic musical talent as a young man. He went on to conduct important operatic premieres, among them Giacomo Puccini's La BohËme in 1896.
Toscanini was chief conductor at Milan's La Scala, then moved to the United States in 1908 to lead the Metropolitan Opera. His career continued to flourish, until he became among the most renowned names in music of his era. He died in New York in 1957, but was buried in Milan.
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