Paraguay violin murder

Paraguayan authorities suspect German citizen was murdered over Stradivarius violins

epa07043398 Swiss Italian violinist virtuoso Fabrizio von Arx poses with his Stradivarius violin newly named 'Angel', formerly 'Madrileno', in Montreux, Switzerland, Monday, September 24, 2018. The violin worth 8 million Swiss Francs is property of "Stradivarius Art & Sound" and was produced in 1720 in the workshop of the legendary luthier Antonio Stradivari. On September 21, 2018 the violin was baptized by Cardinal Ravasi in Venice Italy as the owners of the instrument aim to have it stand as a symbol of peace and promotion of classical music throughout the world. (KEYSTONE/Valentin Flauraud) EPA-EFE/VALENTIN FLAURAUD

ASUNCION, Nov 10 (Reuters) - The murder of a German man and his teenage daughter in a small Paraguayan city last month was likely linked to the theft of several expensive violins, probably famed Stradivarius worth millions of dollars, authorities said on Wednesday.

By Daniela Desantis

Bernard Raymond von Bredow, 62, and his daughter Lorena Lydia, 14, were shot to death in late October in the town of Aregua, near the capital Asuncion. His body showed signs of having been tortured, police said.

Von Bredow was a musical instrument collector and had moved to Paraguay in 2018. Prosecutor Sandra Ledesma said they supected three friends of von Bredow were behind the crime and had brought them in for questioning.

“Few people knew that he carried with him some antiques that were being coveted by many collectors from around the world,” Ledesma said in an interview with a local radio station.

She added they suspected the violins were famed Stradivarius instruments from the 18th centry.

Authorities raided the homes of three of van Bredow’s friends and said they had found a weapon and a map with the apparent location of the violins and certificates confirming their authenticity.

Antonio Stradivari was an Italian luthier, or violinmaker, who died in the 18th century and whose instruments are known as some of the best and most expensive violins ever made.

Stradivarius violins can easily fetch over $1 million and in 2011, one sold for $16 million.

“We don’t know the value yet, we need to check with specialists,” Ledesma said. Authorities did not clarify whether the instruments had been recovered or were missing. (Reporting by Daniela Desantis; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)


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