VC Artist Alexandra Conunova's Guadaganini Violin Confiscated at Airport
The violinist had her €2 million instrument seized by customs officers at Moldova's Chisinau Airport
Conunova's instrument is a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini ex Ida Levin fecit Turino ca. 1785, on loan to her from an anonymous Swiss sponsor. She most recently told The Violin Channel that the Moldovan Customs Services have yet to return the instrument.
Alexandra was due to leave from Moldova to Moscow on Oct 22 and was randomly stopped by customs and had her violin taken away.
They claimed that since Conunova did not declare the instrument's value at the airport, a criminal case file was necessary. Sergiu Prodan, the Moldovan culture minister, has since apologized, yet the investigation into the legality of Conunova’s violin documents continues.
It has been reported that Interpol is to be stepping in to work with Moldovan authorities.
Alexandra told us that once she got to Moscow, she was lent a different violin only two hours before her live-streamed concert appearance.
She is now currently playing on the Milant Guadagnini, kindly lent to her by her mentor Eduard Wulfson in Geneva — in preparation for her tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. She hopes that she will get her own instrument back soon.
"How delicate the situation at the moment, I am deeply moved by that enormous wave of support," Conunova wrote on Facebook.
"It's absolutely wonderful how thousands of people gathered in a moment in defense! Every article, post, and message I receive in private is extremely important and valuable to me."
Beyond that, with the advice of her lawyer Cedric Berger, Conunova will only further comment once her instrument is returned to her.
A graduate of the Hannover University of Music and the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne, Alexandra is a former major prize winner at the Hannover, Tchaikovsky, George Enescu, Tibor Varga, Kloster Shontal, Henri Marteau, and Singapore International Violin Competitions.