Noted musician's violin seized in Germany

Aug. 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM
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FRANKFURT, Germany, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Belgian violinist Yuzuko Horigome said her $1.27 million Guarnerius violin was seized by German customs officials while she was passing through the country.

Horigome said the instrument was seized Aug. 16 while she was transferring flights at Frankfurt Airport on her way home to Brussels from Tokyo, The Japan Times reported Friday.

The musician, who performs with the Berlin Philharmonic and other prestigious orchestras, said officials told her she did not have the proper documentation showing the violin is her business tool. Horigome said she presented the documents the following day, but officials had not returned the violin.

Customs officials said they are holding onto the violin because Horigome has not presented documents showing she had previously paid the instrument's import duty. They said she must submit the papers or pay the estimated $237,538 tax.

"In all the touring I have done, this is the first time I have ever been treated this way. I am deeply distressed. It is as if part of my body has been taken away from me," Horigome said.

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