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Icy Slip at Hotel Smashes a Stradivarius

RUTLAND, Vt. (CN) - The insurer for a musician who slipped and damaged his Stradivarius violin - allegedly to the tune of $1 million - sued the Sheraton Hotel for its icy sidewalk.

Soovin Kim, a 28-year-old virtuoso, slipped on ice as he carried the 1709 "Ex-Hammig" Stradivarius from his car to the Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center in Burlington, Vt. On Jan 14, 2102, the insurer says in its federal lawsuit.

The Strad, in its case, hit the ground and Kim's chin hit the case, smashing the fiddle.

It cost $89,470 to repair, and reduced the violin's value by more than $1 million, according to the Jan. 14 complaint.

It is uncertain from the lawsuit whether Kim owned the Stradivarius or the Marlboro School of Music does.

Ace Fire Underwriters Insurance Co. sued the Sheraton as subrogee of the school and/or Kim. It also sued Starwood Hotels and Resorts and FCH/SH Leasing, owners and operators of the hotel.

Ace says it has paid its policyholder Kim more than $75,000 for the damage. It wants the hotel companies to reimburse it for their negligence.

Ace is represented by Joseph Fallon, of Hinesburg.

Roughly 500 Stradivarius violins survive, and about 140 violas and cellos.

Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) of Cremona, Italy is generally considered the greatest violin maker who ever lived. Single instruments he made have sold for more than $10 million.

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