Something quite important — Part 2


I am getting a violin ready to ‘loan’ to a young Syrian refugee in Lebanon. The kid’s name is Aboud. Sorry if I got that wrong in the last section. I was relying on a faulty memory system. Which is to say, the one I have in my head.

Neither Aboud, nor any of his family, are aware of our ambition to help him. The Documentary maker will spring it on them in due course.

The Faculty Board is supporting my initiative. I am determined to drive it forward. Heedless of any cost.

Bruno, the violin restorer, has restored the Violin. The Wolfe instrument. It is in great shape. The work he has done is of the highest order. I am so grateful I can hardly say. I can only thank him. We shake hands. It is hardly even a gesture. I can’t look him in the eye. I am ashamed of myself.

I have told some people about all this. Our museum has a Friends organisation who support my work. They are very enthusiastic to help with this. Almost astoundingly so. They are keen to help in any way they can. Offers of help are pouring in. And not just from them. Many of my old friends from the music-scene in London have offered to make some sort of contribution. I am almost full-up and in tears with the response.

One suggestion to help deal with any Accreditation fall-out is that the Friends will underwrite any potential financial loss. I have to say, this comforts me no end. On the other hand, in a situation like this, it would be most gratifying to challenge the Accreditation authority. If they were to penalise me on my position in this it would be nice to go-public and see how they react. See what the reponse would be from the wider world.

If museums have any significance to look outwards, rather than cleaving obsessively to our own narrow interests, this would be a perfect test-bed. I would be happy to bring it on. It would please me to see how this might change attitudes.

I have composed the letter to Aboud. It is a piece of crap. I am trying to write something that is short and simple to translate and expresses that we want him to achieve his ambitions and he can have the use of this instrument. I won’t reproduce the text now. I am pretty-well ashamed of it. I have sent it to the documentary maker. She is perfectly at liberty to amend it if she wants.

But I have a new problem. I need a good bow to go with the violin.

I show the violin restorer the bow I had selected to go with the violin. I don’t actually know anything about violin bows. He looks at it and tells me it is a ‘Significant’ bow. Whatever that means.

We go through my violin bow box. We are looking for something I can ‘loan’ to Aboud. All of the bows are ‘significant’ (Whatever that might mean).

So. I need a bow to lend to a Syrian refugee. It needs to be a bog-standard, beginner’s bow. With good hair.

Any help in this would be gratefully received.

The deadline is 30 May.

Any help in this would be very, very gratefully received.

Very gratefully received.