The Cincinnati Art Museum has rediscovered a collection of more than 800 antique musical instruments that had been stored beneath the facility and largely forgotten for decades.
The items span four centuries and represent more than 20 countries, making it an important collection in the eyes of museum officials and instrument specialists. The instruments include African drums, a Burmese crocodile zither, a Chinese version of a hammered dulcimer and a Native American ceremonial raven rattle.
Antique instrument expert Charles Rudig says he was shocked by the collection, which he has been hired to help evaluate and catalog.
Conservators plan to clean dozens of the items to use in an exhibition to go along with the 2012 World Choir Games next summer in Cincinnati.