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Hungry mice 'eat' festival piano

- by Archimedes

Hungry mice 'eat' Patmos festival piano.

Hungry mice have 'eaten' their way through a grand piano on the holiday island of Patmos. The piano is used for one of the island's premier cultural attractions, the annual Patmos Festival of Sacred Music. Event organisers say the pianowas brought some years ago, at a cost of 13 million old Greek drachmas (about £30,000), by the Municipality of Patmos.

The mice chomped through the wool felt hammers of the piano which had been stored in a municipal warehouse.

When a piano tuner arrived on Patmos to tune the piano he found the mice has wrecked the instrument. He described the damage as 'devastating'.

Officials at the Cultural Centre of Patmos, which stages the annual Sacred Music Festival, had been warned last year that better protection was needed for the valuable grand piano, the only one on the island.

Officials were told that the expensive and delicate instrument should be stored in a suitable rodent-proof place, at a constant temperature and away from sunlight and moisture.

Experts warned that the piano, a Yamaha C2, contained a large amount of wool felt and the main danger to the instrument was from an attack by moths.

It was even suggested the piano be stored in a protective metal box, but culture officials opted for warehouse storage instead.

Now experts say the cost of repairs may be prohibitive and the grand piano may have to be destroyed.

The Festival of Sacred Music attracts many visitors to the Greek island of Patmos. It has been staged in September since 2001 and is considered one of the most important summer music events in the Greek Islands.

The festival is held in the entrance to the Holy Cave of the Apocalypse where St John is thought to have written the bible's Book of Revelations and is a festival of spiritual and serious religious music.

The Patmos attraction bring in a large number of visitors include Greeks and foreign tourists who flock to the festival.