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Museum nods to rare Mozart piano going on display in London

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Prague, Sept 27 (CTK) – The National Museum (NM) in Prague has made an exception and loaned its piano, which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played during his stay Prague, to an exhibition that will open in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Saturday, the NM’s Sarka Dockalova told CTK on Wednesday.

The 18th-century hammer piano is one of the most valuable items in the NM’s collections.

Last week, it was transported to London in a case made specially for this occasion, and under tough security measures.

Visitors to London will see it at the exhibition “Opera: Passion, Power and Politics,” which will run through February 25, 2018.

The exhibition highlights the story of opera from its birth in the late Renaissance Italy to the present era.

The piano loaned by the NM is an instrument that Mozart played in a Prague palace during his first visit to the town in January 1787.

A plaque on the piano reminds of the event, but the information on it differs from historical documents. According to the plaque, Mozart played melodies from Don Giovanni on the piano, but in fact he composed the famous opera for Prague’s Nostic Theatre somewhat later.

It is not known when and how the plaque was fixed on the piano, the NM says.

The piano was made around 1785, the authorship being uncertain but ascribed to the Vienna-seated master Franz Xaver Christoph (1728-1793). It is made of mahogany wood, with keys covered with nacre. The soundboard is decorated by a carved rosette.

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