VC Artist Alexandra Conunova Petitions for the Return of Her Guadagnini Violin [SIGN NOW]
The violinist has created an online petition for the €2 million instrument after it was seized by Moldova’s Chișinău Airport customs in October this year
Alexandra’s instrument is an “Ex- Ida Levin fecit Turino” violin by G.B Guadagnini c.1785 — on loan to her from an anonymous Swiss sponsor.
She recently told The Violin Channel that the Moldovan Customs Services have yet to return the instrument.
According to Alexandra’s recent Facebook posts, it has been more than six weeks since the Moldovan authorities took away her Guadagnini violin. The situation is affecting her professional life, finances, relationship with the sponsor who loaned her the violin, and her life as a mom — as she has been in-transit specifically to ensure her violin's return.
“I am disappointed because I feel harassed by my own country, whose fame I have been carrying around the world for more than 20 years,” she wrote. “I can’t accept this injustice committed by the authorities. That is why I need your help.
“Please sign the petitions that I created in order to reach public awareness of the abuse that is committed by the prosecutor toward me and my instrument,” she continued. “Thank you a lot for your support! It gives me a lot of courage.”
Having played the “Ex- Ida Levin” violin for four years, she had always traveled with it “under a contract with the sponsor, formalized by a Swiss law firm.” Until recently, she had never faced issues traveling with the violin.
Set to fly from Moldova to Moscow on October 22, Alexandra was held up by airport officials and made to declare the violin through a violin passport which was to be confirmed by an authorized luthier.
It was later revealed that the passport involved an incorrect statement written by the luthier stating that the violin represented “historical and cultural” significance for Moldova. On this basis, the violin was seized by customs and a criminal case was filed “for attempted smuggling.”
Alexandra told us that once she got to Moscow, she was lent a different violin only two hours before her live-streamed concert appearance.
Sergiu Prodan, the Moldovan culture minister, has since apologized, yet the investigation into the legality of Alexandra’s violin documents continues. Interpol also stepped in to work with Moldovan authorities.
Forensic tests have been made to authenticate the violin and at one point was mistaken for a Stradivarius rather than a Guadagnini instrument. Interpol is currently investigating whether to report the violin as stolen or missing, while Conunova’s lawyers have issued requests for the violin’s return.
Chișinău Airport officials have now organized the fourth luthier to examine the Guadagnini violin to ascertain its authenticity. “The good news is that there will be a press conference organized by the local authorities in order to report on my case,” Alexandra wrote.
To help in the return of Alexandra’s Guadagnini, you can sign her petition here.