Ex-wife accused of wrecking US$1 million violin collection
Ethnic Chinese woman arrested in Tokyo over damage to her former husband’s 54 violins and 70 bows
An ethnic Chinese woman living in Japan has been arrested in Tokyo, accused of destroying her ex-husband’s violin collection worth nearly US$1 million.
The 34-year-old woman, identified as Midori Kawamiya, who sells musical instruments in Tokyo, admitted to police that she broke into the home of her former husband in Nagoya between January and February 2014 while he was away on business, news agency Kyodo reports.
But she denied that she damaged the instruments – 54 violins and 70 bows – which her ex-husband said were worth a total of around 105.9 million yen (US$950,700), according to the report.
The most valuable violin destroyed was believed to have been a Nicolo Amati from Italy with an estimated value of 50 million yen, classical music news site The Violin Channel said.
It named the alleged victim as 62-year-old Daniel Olsen Chen, a Norwegian-born professional violinist who makes and repairs the instruments in Japan.
On his website, Chen says he has a Chinese background and has been a professional violin and bow maker since 1993.
A video apparently uploaded by Chen in August last year shows police investigating what looks like a ransacked apartment, with smashed violins and other instruments, belongings strewn everywhere, along with wrecked furniture and appliances. It includes a caption identifying Kawamiya by her Chinese name, Qin Yue.
The couple were going through a divorce at the time of the alleged incident, Kyodo cited the police as saying. The divorce went through last year.
Kawamiya, who regularly travels between Japan and China, was arrested when she arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday. Japanese police said the investigation was ongoing.