Expatica news

Mystery of EUR 6m violin

6 February 2004

LEIDA – A woman claimed Friday police who seized a valuable violin worth EUR 6 million have swapped it for another one.

Police seized the violin which they believed had been stolen in a robbery in France in 1995.

Detectives launched an investigation after officers spotted the violin for sale on the Internet.

It was said to have been built in 1740 in the school of Cremona in Italy by Giuseppe Guarmeri, a rival of the famous violin maker Antonio Stradivari, who gave his name to the Stradivarius.

With the authorisation of a judge, the police went undercover on the internet posing as a buyer for the violin and offering EUR 3 million.

The transaction was to be completed in a hotel in Barcelona but instead 20 police officers arrested four people. One of those arrested was the woman who is the supposed owner of the violin.

But a month later, the police have not found any proof that the violin was stolen, as they suspected at first.

Neither have they found any proof that the violin was a fake, as they claimed.

A judge in Leida, in Catalonia, north-west Spain, has decided to leave the case on file after it became apparent that it would not be possible to bring charges.

The judge also ordered the police to hand the violin over to the owner.

But the woman has claimed that the violin that she received from the police was not the same as the one they had seized.

The police have insisted that it is the same one.

The judge will now have to decide if she has been given the real instrument.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news