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$950K Violin Collection Ruined. 3 Years Later, Ex-Wife Arrested

The destroyed collection included 54 violins and 70 bows
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2017 5:31 PM CDT
Updated Jul 30, 2017 5:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – The world's tiniest violin might not be enough to express one man's loss, allegedly at the hands of his ex-wife. The Japan Times reports 34-year-old Midori Kawamiya was arrested Tuesday, accused of destroying her ex-husband's $950,000 violin collection in 2014 as the two were divorcing. Authorities say Kawamiya admitted to breaking into Daniel Olsen Chen's apartment in Nagoya but denied destroying his collection, which the BBC reports was comprised of 54 violins and 70 bows.

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Kawamiya, a Chinese national, was arrested this week—more than three years after the alleged crime—when she returned to Japan from China. The 62-year-old Chen, who both collects and builds violins, says it will probably take him the rest of his life to repair his collection, the Violin Channel reports. The most valuable of the destroyed violins—said to be worth nearly $450,000 on its own—is believed to have been a Nicola Amati instrument from Italy. (The saga of a Stradivarius stolen in 1980s ends on a high note.)

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