Min-Jin Kym 'elated' after stolen 300-year-old Stradivarius violin worth £1.2m recovered

 

Acclaimed musician Min-Jin Kym has talked of her “elation” after the British Transport Police tracked down her Antonio Stradivarius violin, worth £1.2m, following an almost three year search.

Ms Kym, 35, feared the instrument, which dates to 1696, was gone for good after it was stolen while she ate in a Pret-a-Manger outside Euston Station in 2010.

“The loss of the instrument and the acute responsibility I felt, was at the back of my mind at every moment of the day,” the Korean-born violinist said.

“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.”

The violin was recovered with minor damage from a property in the Midlands last week after officers “acted on a line of enquiry”. Further details about the investigation were not disclosed.

Along with the violin a £62,000 Peccatte bow and a bow made by the School of Bazin, valued at £5,000, were recovered. Ms Kym will now meet with the insurers to work out a plan to buy it back.

At the time of its theft an appeal was launched on BBC's Crimewatch programme, and police were confident it would be very difficult to sell illegally because any expert would immediately recognise a 1696 violin made by the craftsman Antonio Stradivari.

A 32-year-old man, John Maughan, and two teenagers were arrested in connection with the theft in 2011, but police had been unable to track down the stolen items themselves – until now.

They worked with musical antiques experts to identify the instrument, and were understandably cautious; in March a violin recovered in Bulgaria was initially reported to be Ms Kym’s but was later found to be a cheap replica.

Jennifer Pike, a violin soloist, said: “It was a huge story. The theft was just so terrible, my heart dropped thinking about it.”

Ms Pike, who plays a Matteo Goffriller violin made in 1708, said: “A violin is like a loyal friend. Over the years you discover new things about the sound and it becomes part of you. I can’t imagine having that taken away.” She added: “It’s like a living thing, and they have such a long history.”

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.

“I always maintained that its rarity and distinctiveness would make any attempt to sell it extremely difficult, if not futile, because established arts and antiques dealers would easily recognise it as stolen property.”

Louise Deacon, an instruments expert at the Lark insurance broker, said: “We are really happy to have such a valuable and treasured instrument back in the world of classical music where it belongs.

“We are looking forward to the outcome of our experts’ assessment on the condition of the instrument so we can then liaise with Ms Kym with regards to purchasing back the Stradivari.”

In the wake of the violin’s recovery, British Transport Police reminded travellers to look after their property on trains and at stations – particularly if it might be valuable.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

    Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

    The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
    Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

    Stolen youth

    Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
    Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

    Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

    He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
    Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

    Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

    Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
    Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

    Made by Versace, designed by her children

    Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
    Anyone for pulled chicken?

    Pulling chicks

    Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
    9 best steam generator irons

    9 best steam generator irons

    To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
    England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

    Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

    New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
    ‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

    ‘We knew he was something special’

    Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York