Violinist Min-Jin Kym to sell stolen Stradivarius at auction

Gramophone, October 22, 2013

Tarisio will auction the instrument, which was famously stolen at London’s Euston Station, on December 18 this year

Violinist Min-Jin Kym is selling her £1.2m Stradivarius, which was famously stolen at a Pret a Manger café at London’s Euston Station in November 2010, and returned to her earlier this year following a three-year police investigation across Europe. The violin will be auctioned through stringed instrument specialists Tarisio on December 18, expected to reach up to £2m. A portion of the proceeds and sales commission will benefit the authorities who were instrumental in recovering the violin.

Despite receiving worldwide attention resulting in the arrest of the thieves in 2011, the violin, along a Peccatte bow worth £62,000 and another bow worth £5000, remained lost for almost three years. However, the faith of Detective Chief Inspector Simon Taylor that such a distinctive instrument would be difficult to sell, paid off when a violin found at a property in the Midlands in July this year was verified as the true article.

‘This violin was a faithful friend for many years and I was devastated by its loss,’ said Kym, who has since acquired another Stradivarius. ‘Its recovery is an absolute relief. I am eager to hear the violin onstage once more and I wish its next owner all the best of luck and success.’

Made in Cremona, Italy in 1696, the ‘ex-Kym’ Stradivarius is one of an estimated 600 remaining instruments by the Italian master. Tarisio set the current world record at public auction for a violin in 2011 with the sale of the ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius for £9.8 million.

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