The 1696 Stradivarius violin that was stolen in 2010 from a train station in London has sold at auction for $2.3 million. (British Transport Police / EPA)
Stradivarius violin missing for 3 years sells for $2.3 million
A Stradivarius violin that was stolen from a London rail station in 2010 and recovered in July has sold for £1.4 million ($2.3 million) at an auction this week. The instrument, which dates from 1696, had belonged to violinist Min Jin Kym.
The auction house Tarisio, which specializes in stringed instruments, sold the violin on Wednesday. The selling price fell short of the £2-million estimate from the auction house. The new owner hasn’t been identified, but reports in the British press say that it is a British music festival led by an English violinist.
The instrument was stolen from Kym at London’s Euston station in November 2010. An international search took a number of twists, including the recovery of an instrument in Bulgaria that turned out to be a replica.
Officials announced the successful recovery of the instrument in July. A man and two teenagers were arrested in connection to the theft in 2011, but the instrument wasn’t recovered until two years later. The thieves had tried to sell the instrument for a mere £100.
Kym has acquired another violin since the recovery of the 1696 instrument. In a release from the auction house, the soloist said: “This violin was a faithful friend for many years and I was devastated by its loss. Its recovery is an absolute relief and I am eager to hear the violin onstage once more and I wish its next owner all the best of luck and success.”
Some of the proceeds from the sale of the instrument will go toward benefiting the authorities who were instrumental in recovering the violin, according to the auction house.