"A 40-million-yen 17th-century Italian violin owned by Takiko Omura, the violinist widow of renowned Japanese architect Junzo Yoshimura, has been stolen, the family told The Asahi Shimbun. The violin, manufactured by the acclaimed Nicolo Amati (1596-1684), and three bows were stolen from the home of the couple's eldest daughter in Tokyo last September.
"I have been using the instrument for 50 years, and it is in good condition," said Omura, 89. "The violin is filled with lots of our memories. I feel as if I lost a friend."
According to police investigations, the 58-year-old daughter had not been at home since the end of August. She returned home on the evening of Sep. 28 to find the windows wrenched open.
Only the violin and the three bows were missing. The violin was kept in a locked cabinet, but the lock had been forced.
The instrument was made by Nicolo Amati in 1675, and its worth is now estimated at more than 40 million yen.
Omura and Yoshimura purchased the Amati violin in the United States in 1954."
The official Interpol report states the date of theft as August 31, 2005.