For the third time, customs at Frankfurt Airport have stopped a passenger of Japanese extraction who was carrying a violin and confiscated the instrument.
The person concerned – we are not at liberty to disclose an identity – was held for two hours yesterday while customs officials demanded proof of purchase and valuation of the violin, worth (we are told) in the low six figures. Fortunately, a relative on the other side of the world was able to fax over full documentation and the unfortunate violinist was given back the instrument and allowed to catch a later connecting flight.
It seems fairly obvious that customs at Frankfurt Airport are engaged in racial profiling – or that there is, at the very least, a rogue Customs official with ethnicity issues. That being the case, musicians should avoid Frankfurt Airport until the authorities stop this pernicious practice.