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Guadagnini Violin seized by Moldavian Authorities


l33tplaya
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"Conunova was accosted by officials at Chisinau airport on 22 October as she was leaving the country. She had been recommended to provide a declaration of valuable goods upon entry and exit of the country from an authorised luthier in the form of a violin passport. However, the passport contained an erroneously written statement of the luthier’s own initiative, stating that Conunova’s instrument, the c1785 Guadagnini ‘Ida Levin’ violin, represented historical and cultural value for Moldova. Despite presenting a contract explaining that the instrument is loaned to her by a Swiss music patron, the violin was thereupon seized under suspicion of smuggling."

https://www.thestrad.com/news/violinist-alexandra-conunova-creates-petition-demanding-return-of-her-guadagnini-violin/14131.article

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"She had been recommended to provide a declaration of valuable goods upon entry and exit of the country from an authorised luthier in the form of a violin passport.  However, the passport contained an erroneously written statement of the luthier’s own initiative, stating that Conunova’s instrument, the c1785 Guadagnini ‘Ida Levin’ violin, represented historical and cultural value for Moldova."

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In case it's not totally clear, the mistake was calling it a Moldovan cultural artifact. Suddenly instead of someone just carrying their violin around, it triggers customs to believe that their version of the Elgin Marbles is being snuck out of the country. Since in fact it's not a Moldovan anything, the guy who wrote the document made a HUGE mistake (which is why the article notes that his comment was at his own initiative.)

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She'd need a statement from a luthier to leave Moldova, I think she was told, and the Moldovan luthier wrote the Moldovan antiquities stuff, and then when she tried to leave, it was seized.  Maybe the authorities think it's stolen and nabbed it this weird way while they investigate, or could be a coincidence

https://www.petitieonline.com/freeguadagnini

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How is an Italian violin a Moldovan cultural artefact? Did Tony make it while vacationing in Moldova? :wacko:

BTW...I have a Moldovan coworker. They are very nice but have a slightly different outlook on life. I don’t think Moldova is the best place to grow up. :(

But they are not THAT different. ^_^

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4 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

She'd need a statement from a luthier to leave Moldova, I think she was told, and the Moldovan luthier wrote the Moldovan antiquities stuff, and then when she tried to leave, it was seized.  Maybe the authorities think it's stolen and nabbed it this weird way while they investigate, or could be a coincidence

https://www.petitieonline.com/freeguadagnini

It's all in how you frame the situation.   For "Moldovan authorities", substitute "Customs officials in a morally and financially impoverished former Soviet republic........", and see where your reflections lead you.  :ph34r:  :lol:

IMHO, if there wasn't something questionable going on, the Moldovan government would have sorted the situation out, and given the violin back already.  It's obvious that they have no valid claim to it.  Somebody may be hoping that they can extort what amounts to a ransom from the Swiss owners.

Why would the Moldovan luthier write what he did?   :huh:

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

Why would the Moldovan luthier write what he did?

WHY would Moldovan luthier be involved in the first place when she would already have paperwork at the entry of the country.

There's something fishy in the whole story. I guess she just entered Moldovia without any papers and upon exit she got caught with valuable violin (that would put all blame on her) and local luthier considered it valuable enough to call it "national treasure". This term is commonly used for historic artefacts residing within country (no need to be made there) so they cannot be easily smuggled out.

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7 minutes ago, HoGo said:

WHY would Moldovan luthier be involved in the first place when she would already have paperwork at the entry of the country.

There's something fishy in the whole story. I guess she just entered Moldovia without any papers and upon exit she got caught with valuable violin (that would put all blame on her) and local luthier considered it valuable enough to call it "national treasure". This term is commonly used for historic artefacts residing within country (no need to be made there) so they cannot be easily smuggled out.

Given that she's from there, and presumably fluent in the local dialect of Romanian (the official language of the country), why did she accept a defective document?  :unsure:

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19 minutes ago, Rue said:

"The Stradivarius, made by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini.........."     icon_rofl.gif.97b48646c56d2cbcd19fa141cdd63599.gif

The quality of modern journalism continues to plunge.  :)

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Hey, he should be grateful:

"This document was presented to the Prosecutor's Office. In another 3 days, on October 28, 2021, a forensic examination of the violin was performed by a forensic forensic scientist, which lasted 4 hours of careful examinations, photography and documentation of the instrument, after which, in the  same evening, the President of the Republic of Moldova , Maia Sandu, was  given confirmation that my Guadagnini violin was a Stradivarius! Just imagine the level of professionalism of the expert, if he gives such a conclusion."

It got promoted to a Strad! 

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5 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Some years ago a rather gifted American violinist played a concert there - quite good. A day or two later one of the local critics wrote " zzzzz gave a solid performance of the concerto. We wish to hear him again though we hope next time he'll bring a better violin."

And now we know why he didn't bring the better violin...

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