31 Jul 2013

UK police recover stolen Stradivarius

12:00 pm on 31 July 2013

Top international violinist Min-jin Kym says she is on cloud nine after receiving the news that her 300-year-old Stradivarius, stolen more than two years ago, has been recovered by British police.

The violin valued at £1.2 million was stolen from the South Korean-born musician at a cafe near a London train station.

Three people were later convicted of stealing it, but the instrument itself was not found at the time.

It was discovered last week at a property in the Midlands, alongside two bows worth £67,000, which were stolen at the same time.

Police said experts had verified the authenticity of the violin. It is intact, but has some minor damage.

"I've now gone from devastation to the other end of the scale - an incredible feeling of elation that hasn't left me," Ms Kym said. "I'm still feeling the butterflies in my stomach and am on cloud nine."

Ms Kym said she had played the instrument since she was a teenager, so it was a huge part of her identity for many years and the theft had been a crushing blow.

Simon Taylor, the detective in charge of the investigation, said he was "absolutely delighted" by the find.

"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," he said.