Stolen Stradivarius returned to family after 35 years

Stolen Stradivarius returned to family after 35 years
By Emoke Bebiak
August 7, 2015


Stolen Stradivarius returned after 35 years - © Justin Lane, EPA

New York (dpa) - A nearly 300-year-old Stradivarius worth millions of dollars was returned to the family of its rightful owner Thursday after it had been missing for more than 35 years, the FBI said.

A tip-off from an appraiser led the FBI to the instrument, which had been stolen from violinist Roman Totenberg in 1980 after a concert in Boston. The violin emerged at the end of June when a woman showed the instrument to the appraiser, who recognized it as the famous Ames Stradivarius and informed the authorities. The woman, who said the violin had been given to her by a former husband, surrendered the instrument.


Stolen Stradivarius returned after 35 years - © Justin Lane, EPA

The Stradivarius, which is named after violinist George Ames, its owner in the late 19th century, was returned to Totenberg's daughters. Their father, an acclaimed violinist, died in 2012 at the age of 101. "Today we celebrate the Totenberg family's reunion with a priceless family heirloom, thought for decades to have been lost forever - a joyful ending to an amazing story," said Preet Bharara, US attorney for the southern district of New York.

The Ames Stradivarius was made in 1734 by Antonio Stradivari in Italy, the FBI said. Stradivari's violins are widely considered to be of the highest quality of craftsmanship. Only about 400 of the violins he made still exist.

Source: dpa