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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 March, 2005, 17:51 GMT
Research into piano's Nazi legend
The grand piano which may have a history linked to Hitler's inner circle
Students are looking into paperwork for evidence of its past
A grand piano believed to have belonged to one of Adolf Hitler's inner circle has been donated to Aberystwyth University.

Bought by Welsh artist Handel Evans, who died in 1999, the refurbished seven-foot J and P Schiedmayer was built in Stuttgart in about 1925.

However, it is a mystery which high-ranking Nazi Party member owned the instrument.

The university is attempting to find out more about it.

The piano was donated to the university's school of art by Evans' mother, Marian Evans-Quinn, and it stands in a gallery.

The story goes that it (the piano) belonged to one of Hitler's circle
Robert Meyrick, Aberystwyth school of art

Evans, whose work is popular in Germany, was an accomplished pianist and had the instrument restored shortly before his death at the age of 67.

His mother also gave another grand piano to the university which is in another building in the town.

Head of the school of art Robert Meyrick said: "Handel Evans bought the piano as an investment, but the story goes that it belonged to one of Hitler's circle.

"However, there's no documentary evidence to back that up, but that's the legend that comes with the piano."

Head of the school of art at Aberystwyth University Robert Meyrick standing at the piano
Mr Meyrick hopes to discover more about the grand piano's history

Mr Meyrick added: "It's believed that the piano belonged to a high-ranking Nazi Party official and there are some archive students going through the paperwork that came with the piano and they might come up with something."

Born in Pontypridd, Evans trained at the Cardiff College of Art and made his living as a painter, draughtsman and printmaker in the Caribbean, America and Germany.

The university is already home to nearly 1,000 of Evans' paintings, drawings and other items. The collection is used for educational and research purposes.

An exhibition of Evans' work is planned by the university later this year.

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