A priceless musical manuscript is finally being returned, and, no, Taylor Swift didn’t write it

Musical Manuscript
Image via Unsplash

Everything music-related seems to go about Taylor Swift these days as the award-winning musical artist can make headlines before waking up in the morning. So, the moment the news is music-related, Swifty or not, one’s brain tends to jump to the singing sensation almost instantly. However, the priceless musical piece we are talking about is surprisingly not linked to the Folklore singer at all. It’s about Ludwig van Beethoven and a masterpiece that is finally being returned to its rightful heirs.

The prized musical manuscript is a handwritten score of the fourth movement of Beethoven’s “String Quartet n B-flat Major, Op. 130.” It’s a moving piece that belonged to the Petschek family, the richest family in Czechoslovakia before World War II. But, they had to flee the country when Hitler advanced with the Nazis and brought with him the Holocaust that claimed the lives of six million Jews. Unfortunately, they had to leave the valuable manuscript behind.

It has been perfectly preserved in the Moravian Museum since the 1940s as Simona Šindelářová, the museum curator, respectfully noted in an AP report, “it’s one of the most precious items in our collections.” However, it was finally put on display for lucky viewers who will get to see it until the day that the Petschek family makes the journey to Brno, a city in the Czech Republic, the home of the museum.

Image via AP

As Šindelářová went on to say, “We’re sorry about losing it, but it rightly belongs to the Petschek family.” The return of the manuscript to its rightful heirs is made possible by a restitution law that requires the return of all property that was stolen by the German Nazis. The mystery remains about how the Petschek family came into ownership of the manuscript in the first place, but the fact is that their claim is valid and it will be a happy day for them when they finally resume custody of the invaluable piece of history.

The manuscript is part of an entire series of quartets that were commissioned by the Russian Prince Nicholas Galitzin. Beethoven first played this particular piece at the Musikverein concert hall in Vienna, Austria in 1826. Ownership of the manuscript passed through the hands of Beethoven’s secretary, Karl Holz, and two other parties before ending up in the custody of the Petscheks.

They’ve been working on getting the manuscript back for a long time and looks like they have finally succeeded. Getting this piece back is a symbol of hope for all the other families fighting for everything else they lost.