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Police arrest three, still searching for stolen 300-year-old violin

From Melissa Gray, CNN
Violinist Ruth Palmer plays a 1729 Stradivari violin similar to one stolen -- the missing one is worth more than a million dollars.
Violinist Ruth Palmer plays a 1729 Stradivari violin similar to one stolen -- the missing one is worth more than a million dollars.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The violin was stolen from outside a train station
  • It is worth $1.88 million
  • Also stolen are two violin bows, valued at more than $100,000
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London (CNN) -- Detectives have arrested three suspects, but were still searching Friday for a stolen 300-year-old violin worth more than a million dollars.

John Michael Maughan, 26, and two teens from North London were arrested in connection with the theft of the 1696 Stradivarius, British Transport Police said.

The three were in West London Magistrates Court on Thursday, police said.

The teens were released but Maughan was detained

Police said the violin, valued at $1.88 million, was stolen near a train station in central London earlier this month.

The owner, a 32-year-old musician who wishes to remain anonymous, noticed her black, rectangular violin case was taken and called police.

Along with the violin, the case contained a Peccatte bow, valued at $97,400, and another bow, made by the School of Bazin, valued at more than $7,800, police said.

"These items hold enormous sentimental and professional value for the victim, but although they are extremely valuable, it would be difficult to sell them on as they are so rare and distinctive that they will be easily recognized as stolen property," said Detective Inspector Andy Rose.

"We are continuing to follow a number of leads as part of our investigation into this theft, have spoken with a number of people who were at Euston station," Rose said.

Stradivarius violins were made by the world's most celebrated violin maker, Antonio Stradivari, in the 1600s.

It is thought that from 1666, the Cremona, Italy-born Stradivari made 1,116 instruments, of which more than 600 are still in existence, including violas, cellos, mandolins and guitars.

During the 18th century, his unrivaled reputation extended throughout Europe where his instruments were coveted by royalty, aristocracy, church dignitaries and top musicians because of the extraordinary sound they were capable of producing.

Stradivari made his last violin in 1737 when he was 92.

 
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