A violin found in Bulgaria could be a stolen Stradivarius that disappeared from a London train station more than two years ago.
The violin was discovered during a police operation in Bulgaria. The stolen Stradivarius is worth more than $1.8 million and was created 300 years ago.
The Stradivarius was lifted by a man and two teenage boys from Korean-born classical musician Min-Jin Kym, reports Reuters. Kym, who played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, stopped at a restaurant to get a sandwich in November 2010.
The men responsible tried to sell the violin for just 100 pounds. The antique instrument was never recovered. Also stolen were two bows. One, a Peccatte, was worth 62,000 pounds. The second was made by the School of Brazin and was worth about 5,000 pounds.
A spokesman from the British Transport Police stated of the violin in Bulgaria:
“British Transport Police detectives are aware of the recovery of a violin in Bulgaria and will investigate with insurers, underwriters and international colleagues, whether it is the 1696 Antonio Stradivarius antique violin stolen from a cafe at Euston rail station in November 2010.”
Yahoo! News notes that the man who admitted stealing the violin spent three years in jail. A reward of 40,000 pounds was offered for the instrument’s safe return.
Another Stradivarius owner was much more lucky when they lost their antique violin. The unnamed musician absentmindedly left the instrument on a Swiss train. The violin was returned to the transit station’s lost and found after authorities launched an appeal for help to located it.
Stradivarius violins are worth millions, though there is no real way to assess their value. Only about 600 of the violins made by the Italian craftsman Antonio Stradivari in the late 1600s and early 1700s are still in existence. One Stradivarius violin sold for a record $16 million at auction.
A taxi driver in New York City also discovered a lost Stradivarius in the back seat of his cab. The instrument, valued at $4 million, was returned to owner Phillipe Quint.
As a thank you for the return, Quint gave the driver a reward and treated him to a 30-minute private performance.
The recovery of the stolen Stradivarius would be a huge relief for its owner, who is likely still feeling the loss of the $1.6 million instrument. It is not known how long it will take to see if the violin found in Bulgaria is the Stradivarius stolen from Min-Jin Kym two years ago.
[Image by User: Gryffindor (Self-made, I release it into the public domain.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]