‘Dying’ piano key ‘sadly fading’

A piano key “sad, fading and fading away” in a Milan museum has been identified as a “dying” key by experts.

The famous Faziolis piano was first exhibited in 1885, when it was sold by its owner for €300,000 ($340,000).

Its condition has deteriorated and has “suddenly deteriorated into a sad piano”, said the conservator of the museum, Francesco Zingales.

“We have not had time to analyse it carefully enough to decide if it’s a piano or a violin,” he told AFP news agency.

Zingales said the instrument had been sold “for the price of a piano in the 1960s” and “that is exactly what it is”.

The conservator added that the “tens of thousands” of people were expected to visit the museum each year to see the piano.

The conservatoire’s website says the piano was “rebuilt in 1891” and is considered one of Italy’s most beautiful piano instruments.

The museum has said the “vintage” Faziosa was given to the Museo d’Italia dei Piano in Milan in 1863 by Count Fazio Fabbri and was later purchased by the museum in 1967.

It says the instrument was made in Milan between 1875 and 1897.

In a statement, the museum said the piano is “a special treasure for many, including myself”.

“This instrument, the first to feature a wood frame, is now a museum object of the highest interest,” the statement said.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Milan says the “Dying Piano” was sold in 1894 for a total of €600,000.