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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 September, 2003, 04:23 GMT 05:23 UK
Proms disaster for flautist
Royal Albert Hall
The Proms is in its 109th year
A flautist due to play at the Last Night of the Proms is appealing for the return of his instrument after it went missing in a bizarre incident.

Michael Cox, who is to perform two solos at the concert this weekend, gave the 11,000 instrument to a specialist repairs shop in London.

Unfortunately, the craftsman who was transporting it to his workshop passed out on a bus and the flute went missing.

A Proms spokesman said: "He was the only person in Britain with the specialist knowledge to repair flutes of such value.

"Unfortunately the repairer had a jaw infection and the pain caused him to pass out on the journey.

"When he came round the flute had gone."

'No value'

The man fainted while travelling from Oxford Circus in central London to the Old Street area of the city.

The "headpiece" of the instrument was left, which means the body is of no use or value without it.

In the rousing Last Night of the Proms on Saturday, Mr Cox, the BBC Symphony Orchestra's principal flautist, is scheduled to play two important solos - in Faure's Pavane and the Hornpipe from Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea Songs.

Mr Cox is hoping that whoever has the instrument, from esteemed French manufacturer Louis Lot, will return it to Proms chiefs.

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