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Montrealers Rallied To Get This Homeless Man A New Violin After His Went Missing

He said life without his violin was a "lower level of poverty."

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This is Mark Landry, a busker who's known for playing the violin at metro stations in Montreal.

YouTube / Via youtube.com

There are dozens of videos on YouTube of Landry playing beautiful and passionate music around town, though usually at the Joliette metro station.

But there was terrible news this week. Landry said his violin was stolen from him.

facebook.com

Marie-Philippe Mercier Lambert came upon Landry in a metro station. She shared a photo of him on Facebook holding a sign that asked for help, in the hopes that a good Samaritan might see it and find him a new instrument.

According to CBC News, Landry is homeless. He said life without his violin was an even "lower level of poverty."

The photo was shared thousands of times and came to the attention of Orchestre Métropolitain CEO Jean R. Dupré, who got in touch with a local music shop, Maison du Violon, who agreed to sell him a brand new violin at cost.

At Maison du Violon, Mylene Maisonneuve-Letarte tests out violin for Marc. He'll get it this pm at Joliette metro

Here's an employee testing it for quality before shipping it out.

Dupré hand-delivered the violin to Landry, who immediately treated everyone to a beautiful song on his new instrument.

CBC News / Via Facebook: video.php
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Landry's story touched a lot of people.

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This shows how evil some people can be, and how wonderful others can be. This is how we need to treat others https://t.co/MqIJ2vbp4u

The story might be more complicated, though. Le Devoir reported that Landry has mental health issues that led up to his violin going missing.

According to the newspaper, Landry has three violins now, including the one he got from the Orchestre Metropolitain. But none of them were stolen. Instead, he seems to have misplaced or given his violins to friends for safekeeping, and then forgotten that he did so.

Zachary Grant, a former neighbour and close friend of Landry's, says it's important to remember that there's a bigger picture. In a widely shared post on his Facebook page, which he has since deleted, Grant said Landry's story was about more than just a violin.

"A lot of that is systemic," he told BuzzFeed Canada. "It is about gentrification, policing, drug use, and overall about mental health treatment and access."

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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