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Stolen Stradivarius violin found after more than two years

By Melissa Gray, CNN
July 31, 2013 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The violin is intact with minor damage, police say
  • Police discover the violin and 2 bows at a house in central England
  • They were stolen in late 2010 near a London train station
  • Two teens were sentenced for the theft in 2011

(CNN) -- British Transport Police said Tuesday they found a stolen 300-year-old Stradivarius violin worth more than $1 million, along with two bows valued at more than $105,000.

Police released few details about how they found the items that were stolen in late 2010 near a London train station. They were found at a house in central England.

The violin was recovered intact with some very minor damage, they said.

"We're delighted to have recovered the violin after a long and very complex investigation," said Detective Chief Inspector Simon Taylor, who led the hunt.

He said members of other police forces, an insurance company, and antique dealers helped with the investigation.

Two teenagers were arrested and sentenced in 2011 in connection with the theft of the 1696 Stradivarius.

The violin's owner, acclaimed violinist Min Jin Kym, noticed her case containing the violin and bows was missing and called police.

She said she thought about the theft every day, even in her dreams, and was elated to learn it was found.

Stradivarius violins were made by the world's most celebrated violin maker, Antonio Stradivari, in the 1600s.

It is thought that from 1666, the Cremona, Italy-born Stradivari made 1,116 instruments, of which more than 600 are still in existence, including violas, cellos, mandolins and guitars.

During the 18th century, his unrivaled reputation extended throughout Europe where his instruments were coveted by royalty, aristocracy, church dignitaries and top musicians because of the extraordinary sound they were capable of producing.

Stradivari made his last violin in 1737 when he was 92.

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