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An intriguing fight over who owns one of the world's rarest and most perfect musical instruments--a 1698 Stradivarius violin with the maker's label intact--brought a bit of the 1979 Iranian revolution to a federal courtroom in Washington last week. The Khomeini government is trying to get the violin from a Parisian businessman. The tale of the violin stretches from the last days of the Shah of Iran's empire to Tehran bazaars during the chaos that followed the fall of the shah and the return of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, reported the Washington Post. The violin, known as the Burmester Stradivarius, ended up at Sotheby Parke Bernet's New York gallery where it was scheduled for auction in March, 1982. But the Iranian government blocked its sale, and the violin has been locked in a Sotheby's vault under an order by a federal judge.

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