The control that the Guardia Civil had set up that afternoon in November of 2007 in one of the roads that surround Carmona (Seville) just checked a few seconds the vehicles that passed through. Until the officers were approaching the van, Renault Traffic white that they expected. A chain with spikes was extended from side to side of the road. Gave the high vehicle. The two occupants got out and opened reluctantly to the back door. And there it was, semiescondida between multiple gadgets, the case of violin. When you open it, could read: “Antonius Stradivarius Cremona Fecit Anno 1731”. The mission had been a success.

Eleven years later, the piece still contained in the police records of works of art seized, in a list that is given by real. Some experts value it at up to three million euros; others claim it is a forgery. The violin is waiting to be claimed by its owner. The judge has not made a decision yet and the piece is treasured at the Headquarters of Cordoba.


The latest theory of the beauty of the Stradivarius

This story begins on the 5th of November 2007 when they jump the alarms in the Group of Patrimony of the Technical Unit of Criminal Intelligence of the Civil Guard: a few individuals of Romanian origin had been put up for sale a stradivarius in Andalusia. The instrument, of which there are only about 600 copies in the world, can reach a market value of close to three or four million euros. However, there was evidence that none had been stolen or that its legal owners attempt to sell it.

The first meeting between an undercover agent and the seller are conducted in a shopping center on the outskirts of Cordoba. In the exterior and interior of the establishment, civil guards and cars camouflaged. The encounter was brief. The man who offered the stradivarius seemed nervous. Look at all the sides and it did not take over the valuable object, only a few photographs that showed. The agent demanded to personally examine the piece. The seller noted that there would be a new appointment, that I would call it, and it disappeared. The agents we lost.

a Few days later, with a monitoring device extended, was held a second appointment at a gas station in the vicinity of Ecija (Seville). The seller returned alone and without the violin. The agent demanded, again, to examine it or broke the deal. The individual then made a call on their mobile phone. Minutes later, two men appeared with the cover. They asked for 400,000 euros. The guardia civil inspected the instrument and accepted the agreement. In a few days, meet Dumanbet the amount claimed, he said. The seller is left in a car and carrying the violin in a van. They were not detained with the possibility that persecution could damage the jewel of the EIGHTEENTH century.

The Civil Guard was established in a hurry, a false control of the road that had taken the sellers at their march. Nothing should make them nervous and they couldn’t discover the cars-camouflaged that followed. It would be necessary to wait until they arrive at the control road on the outskirts of Carmona (Seville) that they were going to come up.

Stradivarius that is saved in the Command of Cordoba. GUARDIA CIVIL

As in the command, the detainees have refused to know nothing about the stradivarius. They argued that someone had entered the van and refused to testify. The object was examined subsequently by two experts who determined that it was a forgery of the centuries XVIII or XIX given the characteristics of the inscription engraved on it and the wood used in its manufacture. Other experts, however, estimated that its price would be around three million. The stradivarius is currently displayed as true on the web page where the Guardia Civil made public by the seizure of works of art. In it we read: “Seized the 11 November 2017. Author: Antoniu Stradivariu. 1731”.

anyway, the only body that could certify the authenticity of the object was a National Heritage, that should send it to technical of Germany, something that has not been carried out, as the judge investigating the case has not ordained.

“Although it may seem otherwise, the theft of luxury vehicles and the theft of jewelry art are very closely related. The bands that organize both offenses operating in a way very similar, that’s why this unit has specialized in fields as different”, said sources in the Group of Patrimony of the Technical Unit of Criminal Intelligence of the Guardia Civil, a body coupled to the Drive against Organized Crime (UCO), the fight against the plundering and destruction of wealth.

In 2013, these groups police desarticularon in Almeria a band trying to put on the black market a replica of the stradivarius. They made 19 arrests. “There are great fakes in the market”, remember.

Now the stradivarius seized in the police control is located on the premises of the Guardia Civil in Córdoba. It is up to the judge to -11 years after his apprehension— must give you an answer on what to do with it: send it to Germany, to destroy it if it is fake or, even, to give it back to those who have tried to sell: you have a stradivarius that no one claimed, replica or not, is not a crime. Although it does not have papers.

A strange claim denied

In march 2011, a Spanish citizen claimed to be the legal owner of the stradivarius seized, in addition to a art object that came from a robbery in Valencia. However, he presented no evidence of your property. The Civil Guard refused his request and was surprised that someone could claim this type of works without providing any documentation. “The course owner was a person with a cultural level very low, and that he risked being arrested”, they say. The Unit against Organized Crime (UCO) we investigated, but could not connect with the group that was trying to sell it, one of whose members is related to a homicide.