Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Stolen £1.2m Stradivarius recovered

Police have recovered a 1696 Antonio Stradivarius violin worth more than one million pounds (British Transport Police/PA)

A 1696 Antonio Stradivarius violin worth £1.2 million, which was stolen by thieves in 2010, has been found.

The 300-year-old instrument and two bows worth £67,000 were stolen from Korean-born violinist Min-Jin Kym, 35, by opportunists while she was eating in a Pret a Manger cafe at London's Euston station.

Police said investigators leading the hunt for the antique have verified the find with experts and the violin is now being held at a secure London location.

Internationally-acclaimed Kym said: "It's been a very difficult journey; I still can't quite believe what has happened.

"The theft was a crushing blow and the detectives in the case had always, quite rightly, been very careful not to give me false hope.

"When they told me the good news, it didn't feel real. I've now gone from devastation to the other end of the scale - an incredible feeling of elation that hasn't left me. I'm still feeling the butterflies in my stomach and am on cloud nine."

British Transport Police said the violin was recovered from a property in the Midlands last week but added that they could not release further details.

The instrument, discovered intact with some very minor damage, was recovered in its case along with a missing £62,000 Peccatte bow and a bow made by the School of Bazin, valued at more than £5,000.

Following a public appeal for information and the release of CCTV images on the BBC's Crimewatch, John Maughan, 32, and two teenagers were later sentenced in connection with the theft in 2011 but the violin and bows had not been recovered - until now.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Taylor, who led the hunt, said: "We're absolutely delighted to have recovered the Stradivarius violin after a long and very complex investigation. Though it took some time to successfully locate and recover the violin, we were confident it had remained in the UK."

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