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18-year-old Japanese woman loses Y8 mil antique violin on Austrian subway

78 Comments

Austrian media reported Wednesday that an 18-year-old Japanese tourist on a trip in August left her antique violin, made in 1792 and worth 60,000 euros (8 million yen), on the subway in Vienna. Police have attempted to find the instrument but have no clues or leads to what may have happened to it.

According to Kyodo News, the girl was riding the subway with another Japanese woman on Aug 6. She had with her a suitcase and the case containing the violin, but when she got out at West Vienna station, approximately 3 kilometers from the city center, she forgot to retrieve the violin.

The girl noticed the missing violin seconds later, but the train had already departed. The violin was made by Italian maker Antonio Gragnani.

Vienna police are currently searching for information on the passengers who were riding in the carriage with the two women that day.

© News reports

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78 Comments
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An 8 M Yen worth of violin and she was careless about it?...Austria is not Japan, young lady!

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Typical young Japanese girl. Bet she remembered her Vitton handbag though. Airhead.

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I hope she finds it. Maybe she had a lot on her mind at the time?

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YoYo Ma forgot his 300 Million Yen Cello in a taxi once - luckily the driver immediately returned it. I'm not sure how famous or talented this girl is, so I won't comment on her playing such a valuable instrument, but I think we're all sure now how careless she is.

Am I too bad if I say she probably doesn't deserve such an instrument?

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Jet lag? I carry my sax with me, and even though it's like a part of me, it can be easy to be stupid when groggy. I haven't forgotten it yet, thank god, but I have had a couple of 'oops' moments. I may not have if my sax was that expensive though :-D

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We've all left stuff somewhere, and then had that sinking feeling seconds later as we realise what we've done. This doesn't make her an airhead, just human.

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I know how she feels, I left my Hermes suit on the Shinkansen once.

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She must feel awful. Hope they find it.

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That's why I never put my baggage in that overhead holder on the train. Makes me way too nervous about forgetting my stuff on my way off.

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Vienna has a subway?

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i wonder if this news is also on austria....

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I can't help but think that, if you can afford a 8,000,000 violin, you can probably afford to take a taxi.

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That sucks. I hope it gets back to her.

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Hope she get it back. Always happen to me when I'm on a trip to forget something!

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Bet she remembered her Vitton handbag though.

Probably

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Breathing and chewing gum at the same time sounds like it would be challenging for this women. Probably if an 18-year old can afford to have such an expensive piece of lumber and strings, she can probably get another one...

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Poor girl, I know how she feels. I once left my Daiso umbrella on the train and never saw it again.

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Why is she carrying such a precious violin while she is a "tourist on a trip"? Immigration authorities should have another look.

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Why is she carrying such a precious violin while she is a "tourist on a trip"?

Perhaps she was there to perform and the article is badly translated...

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Most probably it is insured, so she will get insurance money.

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"tourist on a trip"? Immigration authorities should have another look.

Pretty common for people to perform on tourist visas, if not paid in that country. Special events and concerts in Japan are full of Asians working on tourist visas, but as they are not paid in Japan, it is not a visa violation...

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Probably if an 18-year old can afford to have such an expensive piece of lumber and strings, she can probably get another one...

She can't 'afford it'. It's more than 99.9% on loan to her from an academy or private collector.

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Can't be sold. Why would an 18 year old have such an instrument?

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Sorry, but the most expensive things I carry around with me are my i-phone, dictionary and wallet (which is sadly empty most of the time,) if I had a XXX million yen whatever, I would no way leave it on the train. This girl is an idiot and if indeed this was something loaned to her by someone, then I hope they don't stab her for her stupidity.

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Aw, don't be so tough on the girl. She most certainly made a stupid oversight, and she'll be paying for it for the rest of her life (especially if it was not hers... then she'll LITERALLY be paying for it). I've forgotten things on a train when in a rush to get off the thing (let's say I wasn't paying attention and noticed at the last second it was my stop). It happens. In this case, the girl left something of particular value. They'll find it eventually, but it'll be on eBay or Auction.

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People, regardless of age, forget things all the time. I completely empathize with her. She’s got to be feeling pretty low about this.

Although a bit I’m curious as to why an 18-year old is wandering around Europe with an 8-million yen antique violin. Was it something she was using for a performance? Was it a gift? A bit on the expensive side for an 18-year old, I’d think.

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poor girl. i would be crushed for life if that happened to me. I forgot my favorite hat on a Tokyo subway and it still bothers me to this day. and I only paid 20 bucks for it and it was probably made in China last year in 2009 by Chinchow Hoipongyon

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Vienna has a subway?

It certainly does, with six lines (maybe more, now) serving various parts of the city. Westbahnhof, which I assume is where this incident took place, is near the Mariahilfer-Strasse shopping district and happens to be the very first Viennese train station I ever made use of.

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Japanese people are used to sleeping on the subways. Perhaps her probable comatose state of awareness led to this. I lived in Manhattan for many years, and you grow eyes on the back of your head there.

When Yo Yo Ma lost his violin, he had the taxi receipt.

all this publicity may just make it harder for her to get the violin back.

hope she finds it, it's not an easy thing to fence.

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Call lost property - must be there

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I am sure it is generously insured.

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wanderlust:

Pretty common for people to perform on tourist visas,

tokyochris:

Perhaps she was there to perform and the article is badly translated...

OK, but that would not be a "translation" problem, I think. If she was there to perform, wouldn't that be a focal point of the article? Very strange...

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Leaving your hat, bag, coat or whatever on the subway- understandable. A multi-million yen violin, come on people. She is obviously not too sharp.

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The violin was made in 1792? It must be a hunk of junk. she was in serious need of an upgrade anyway.

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Such unique things cannot be sold, like Raphael frescoes. And nobody besides musicians is able to value the instrument. Just keep it? It rather soon comes back to the owner.

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Good luck to her finding it. Austria isn't Japan in a sense that no one cares about anything left behind that you will probably find it the same place you left it even after several hours, if not at a lost and found.

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Naivity & innocence are not crimes. Shame on you posters for slamming this 18 yr old. A classic case of sacrificing virtue for immorality. It isn't worth it and the holder of the violin w case should change and get your rebuke before the forgetful violinist. Can you trust your neighbor? Perhaps not in Vienna.

Maybe someone is just keeping it safe for her.

On the truths side: at least I didn't knick it huh.

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Got bit of a 'Red Vioilin' plot going on here. If these events follow the movie, it should be in the hands of group of gypsies headed for England.

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LFRAgain- People, regardless of age, forget things all the time. I completely empathize with her.

So LFRAgain, when was the last time you left an $80,000 item on a train? She is an idiot! Plain and simple!

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I am curious what an 18-year old tourist is doing with a Stradivari on the subway anyway???

It is not something normal 18-year old tourists would carry around.

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What is it with people leaving expensive violins on trains? Last year a guy in England left a 200,000 pound violin on train. I doubt he got his back either.

Probably the worst thing to do if you want it back is to report that is extremely expensive...

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I left my Selmer Mark VI on the bus once. Didn't even realise I'd forgotten it until they phoned me up about it. Must be like losing an arm for this lass.

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I think she is a good choice for being Paris Hilton's newest best friend. Imagine her "Oh, I am so said, Papa joust bought me this violin worth millions, and i like to carry it around, when I am a tourist! I wanted a mummy or some other antics, but was too big, so didnt fit on the U-Bahn. I had to settle with a Gucci bag."

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That's why I usually take the tram in Vienna and things like that won't happen.

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tsk. tsk.

careless...

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Where I come from we'd call her a blithering imbecile. I wonder what she was chatting about that took precedence over something almost priceless. If you had 8 million yen in a bag would you travel the subway, and if so, would you ever, for a second, forget about it?

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Old news. According to Austrian newspaper "Der Standard" the violin was returned on Tuesday night (after 2 days). The finder claims he was busy with his job and couldn't come to the station's lost-and-found office earlier ...

http://derstandard.at/fs/1252036873735/Wiener-U-Bahn-Vergessene-wertvolle-Geige-wurde-abgegeben

The article also says the violin was actually NOT(!) insured and worth "more than 100000 euro" (13.5 million yen). Unbelievable.

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That girl is really smart! Yeah for her!

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Very sad to hear about this terrible loss, very sad indeed and I hope that the Austrian subway company and the Austrian police will soon find it and return to the 18 year old Japanese woman which will make her very happy indeed. Good Luck Japanese woman my thoughts and prayers are with you. Farakh Malik

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rich kid means stupid kid

The parents are idiots to buy, to lend, or to give such a present to a teenager.

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C'mon, people! Have you never forgotten something in a train, bus or taxi? She's human and slipped for a second. Altria, this being Japan, you probably got your suit back, right?

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And this made the news, why????

Next thing you know they will compare it to what would happen if you left it on a Japanese train.

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She is clever. She is saying I don't want to play this beat up, 10th hand antique! I want a new fiddle!!!! Who can blame her.

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Thank you, snowcrash. It seems the finder had wanted to get a quote on the value of the violin. I would think that since he did not report the find immediately the owner is not obliged to pay a finder's fee.

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Pssssh what's 80k here and there....

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An 18 year old violinist has probably been studying music for some years & she will probably practice every day, which is the reason she had the instrument with her. Even on holiday she will still play anything from two to five hours day. I once lived with a cellist & you just have to get used to it.

Also as a general rule really good & promising violinists & cellist don’t have to buy these expensive instruments, they are kind of on loan to ultimately be passed on to the next promising student.

In some ways being almost permanently with your instrument goes part way in explaining why it is possible to forget it & leave it on a train. The dollar, yen & euro signs you (& I) all see, she & others like her don’t see. And by the way, that value on the instrument doesn’t mean she comes from a rich family.

Does this all mean that I don’t think she is an idiot? No way, I also think she is a total cretin. Though I perhaps understand why she is one a little better than some.

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I hope she gets it back.

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This has happened elsewhere to, NYC subway, taxi cabs etc in the US, you here stories like this from time to time.

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Thats a bummer. I bet everything sounds a little off key now.

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Sorry, but I still think she's an idiot.

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C'mon guys, she only lost a violin, nothing to harp about (sorry, couldn't resist!).

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Glad she got it back... says something good about Austrians..

aw

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This is why my son doesn't take the 1824 Bernardel to school....

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May be subway cleaning staff thought it was a piece of junk.

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I bet she forgot her violin because she was too busy talking to her friend.

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not many honest people going to hand it in etc in that part of the world .. wouldn't happen in Japan etc.

or do we all have to be so ill minded this days and maybe think its an insurance job etc.

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I left my Selmer Mark VI on the bus once

gasps, faints :-)

And this made the news, why????

Only because she's Japanese, got to give the bashers something to do...

Great that she got it back.

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http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/17/lost-violin-and-owner-are-reunited-again/

Interesting article about expensive lost instruments, found it while looking for an article on this one being returned.

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http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/local/article/22221--man-finds-77-000-lost-violin-in-homeless-woman-s-shopping-cart

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The violin was made in 1792? It must be a hunk of junk. she was in serious need of an upgrade anyway

Please tell me you're joking / being sarcastic...

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A 17 yr old prodigy-type friend of mine, when I was 17, ie long ago, was lent a stradivarius, the most famous kind of violins. I don't know its value, but he put it on the roof of his parents car when opening the door to get in. Then drove off.

The violin wasn't hurt, luckily. and they got it back. Artists are spacey sometimes.

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ps and my friend wasn't jpns, we r americans

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Its nothing for Japanese even they can forgot husband and children if they have money.She will not complain because she had nice time in hotel with another man becauuse of email facility given by internet provider inthe world without charging money.Thanks for government body of the worlds who does not know how to make revnue.

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Gee that makes sense (rolls eyes).

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Good to hear she got it back!

The worst instrument loss story I've heard has to be Krystian Zimerman having his customized piano (which he performs on all over the world) destroyed by US customs because they thought the glue smelled like explosives.

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A violinist at UCLA borrowed $1,000,000 Strad and left it on top of his car. It was returned 20 years later.

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The worst instrument loss story I've heard has to be Krystian Zimerman having his customized piano (which he performs on all over the world) destroyed by US customs because they thought the glue smelled like explosives.

Yea, but I'll bet they reimbursed him for the piano, at cost plus...

At least the Austrian Cops tried to do something!

I had never lost anything in 20 years in Japan, and the first time I forgot something, immediately remembering about my backpack, within 30 seconds after I de-boarded the train, I told the station staff, which happened to be a bunch of 20-something girls (working the station) they fiddled around for what seemed like 10 minutes trying to figure out what they should do.... Anyway, my bag, probably with $10,000 usd (had just returned from a business trip) worth of stuff, PC, Iphone, passport, cash, all my bank and credit cards.. etc... never turned up... 9 months now...

The JN cops didn't lift a finger... "Here fill this out and will call you if somebody turns it in...."

Worthless pieces of crap....

It could have been a million dollars in Negotiable bearer bonds and they still never would have even looked at the video footage to see who might have walked off the train with that bag...

Now I'm sure if my name was Nakasone or if I was a member of the diet and I left my brief case on that car, they would have halted the trains to retrieve that bag....

Bottom line, if you forget something of no-value, it will be waiting for you 6 months later at the last station on that line, but if it's worth anything more than 10,000 yen, forget about it... You'll never see it again... Yes, Here in Japan...

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Vienna has a subway

Yup - nice small one with only 3 (IIRC) lines. Made the city wonderfully easy to get around when we were on a school exchange there when I was 16. Happy days....

Insurance

If it was insured for full value, while overseas, without a very high excess, and she's got a proper police report, then she'll not lose out financially, but that's a lot of if's <travel insurance geek off>. Plus there's the sentimental value of such a violin, not to mention the difficulty in finding an instrument of similar quality.

I once left my clarinet (comparatively cheap model as these things go, but would have been tough financially for Mum to replace it at the time) on the bus from Heathrow to Euston when I was 17. I had a lot of luggage on my way back from a school trip to Maastricht and it got overlooked in the hurry to gather everything together. I was distraught when I realised what had happened. I rang Mum to tell her the situation, and by the time she met me off the train in Liverpool, the clarinet had been found and was in the London Transport lost property office awaiting collection by my cousin, who worked in London. I hope things work out equally well for this young lady.

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