Johann Paetsch

Million $$ Violin Siezed by German Customs!!

August 20, 2012 10:17

A Guarneri violin owned by renowned violinist Yuzuko Horigome has been seized by the customs office at Frankfurt Airport, apparently because it believes she should pay import tax on the valuable instrument, airport and other sources said.

According to a press official at the airport in Germany and other sources, Horigome arrived from Tokyo last Thursday and tried to pass through a customs gate for tourists who have nothing to declare, as she usually does.

However, a customs official told her the violin, which was inside her bag, should be declared.

Horigome did not have a certificate proving she had paid import tax or documents verifying the history of her violin, so the instrument was confiscated.

The press official said the violin was taken to ensure Belgium-based Horigome paid the tax. The official also said it was seized as evidence since there was the possibility of tax evasion.

The office is still processing the case.

Horigome was reportedly asked to pay 190,000 euros (about 19 million yen) in tax, 19 percent of the 1 million euros the office valued her violin at.

According to the press official, it is possible the violin will be regarded as a tool of her livelihood and therefore no tax will have to be paid.

In 1980, Horigome became the first Japanese to win the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition held at Brussels. She has played with some of the world's leading orchestras.

===

'No problems before'

Horigome was stunned when her violin was seized, especially since she has never had a problem taking it through customs before.

"A musical instrument is a tool for my job and like a part of my body as a musician. I've used Frankfurt Airport many times and never had any trouble before," Horigome told The Yomiuri Shimbun by telephone. "I don't understand why this suddenly happened."

Horigome said she is considering filing a suit against the customs office.

Archive link


Previous entries: June 2011

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

House of Rosin
House of Rosin

Holiday Shopping Business Directory
Holiday Shopping Business Directory

Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning
Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning

ARIA International Summer Academy

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Violin-Strings.com

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Warchal

Barenreiter

Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe