A stolen Stradivarius violin that was once the centrepiece of a criminal investigation has auctioned for £1.2m ($2.0m) at Tarisio Auctions in London this afternoon (December 18).
The instrument, made by the world-famous luthier in 1696, was taken from internationally acclaimed soloist Min-Jin Kym at London's Euston train station in 2010.
Not knowing what they had on their hands, the thieves immediately tried to sell it for £100 ($161) at an internet cafe nearby.
The British police recovered the instrument earlier this year in the West Midlands. In the intervening period, Kym had acquired another of the famed instruments.
"This violin was a faithful friend for many years and I was devastated by its loss," she said prior to the auction.
"Its recovery is an absolute relief and I am eager to hear the violin onstage once more. I wish its next owner all the best of luck and success."
The Lady Blunt Stradivarius holds the violin auction world record at $15.9m.