Stolen Violins of LA Philharmonic Member Recovered in Paris

Classic Arts News   Stolen Violins of LA Philharmonic Member Recovered in Paris
A pair of prized violins that were stolen on December 23 from the home of Mark Kashper, Los Angeles Philharmonic associate principal second violin, have been recovered in Paris.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a suspect attempted to sell the two instruments, which have a combined value of almost $300,000, to a dealer in the French capital.

"Our fingers are crossed," the paper quotes Adam Crane, director of public relations for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as saying. "We don't know the condition of the instruments at this point. But we're excited they were recovered. We will feel very happy when the violins are back in our possession."

The more valuable violin, owned by the Philharmonic, is an 18th-century Tononi worth about $225,000. The other, which belongs to Kashper, is a Vuillaume valued at about $65,000. Also stolen was a prized Tourte bow, worth an estimated $30,000, according to the Times.

Police have not announced whether the burglar acted alone or was part of an organized ring.

A report in the Associated Press said that word of the theft had spread among American and European dealers; the owner of a Paris violin shop subsequently alerted police when a man tried to sell the two violins for $65,000. The would-be seller was reportedly an American based in Amsterdam, who claimed he bought the instruments from someone he didn't know.

French police took possession of the instruments last Thursday (March 8); the would-be seller was taken into custody and jailed in view of extradition, according to the AP.

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