Reports from Japan say that the German customs authorities have decided to return the precious Guarnerius violin they confiscated last month at Frankfurt airport from a transfer passenger, Yuzuko Horigome.
Customs officials had insisted she pay a crippling fine of 380,000 Euros – almost half a million dollars. But political and other interventions softened their stance and Ms Horigome is expected to receive her instrument back within days. ”The violin will come back to me safely thanks to the help of many people. I am so glad,” Ms Horigome said.
It is to be hoped that the violin has been maintained at the right temperature. It remains a matter of concern that an over-zealous customs official in a music-loving EU country could deprive a violinist of the right to exercise her art and her profession for a whole month. Ms Horigome deserves, at the very least, an official apology.