I picked up the i newspaper today and had a look through. I like this paper because it rounds up all the important and interesting news of the day in a lovely, brief manner. Very easy on the eye. I soon came across the music section, with a double page spread dedicated to Min Kym, the #South Korean-born violinist who had her very expensive 1696 Stradivarius (good and old violin) stolen in 2010. The title reads 'she thought her career- and life- was over'. This immediately caught my attention, but I think, for the wrong reasons..
Personifying an object
Firstly, I could not believe that an instrument that old would still be playable. Secondly, I think you are setting yourself up for a fall when you pay that much money for something and have it on show and not behind bullet-proof glass. And thirdly, I do not think you can speak about going through 'a loss' unless it is someone close to you, like a family member or friend, or a pet, like a dog or a cat or a goldfish, you get the point.
Anyway, a violin now constitutes as a loss. The title of the article also reads that the violin was worth £1.2m, which she originally purchased for £450,000 when she was just 21. This left me slightly reeling and made me even less sympathetic to the poor woman's situation.
Min Kym purchased an object for more money than most of the people listening to her music will ever see. An object, a thing, without feelings. Now, if this was your run of the mill violin for a couple of hundred quid, an article would never have been written.
But it is because the violin cost so much money that Min Kym grew attached to it, as something of more value is deemed as more precious and valuable, obviously. The purchase had a huge impact on her life and even more so did the subsequent 'loss' of her favourite object.
Goodbye, my friend
The violin which Min Kym refers to as 'the one', was stolen by a small group of thieves, who 'created a diversion and, in seconds, snatched the violin' in a crowded Pret a Manger at Euston station. This is all resulting in absolute grief for Min Kym, who the press branded as 'negligent', as she struggled to even leave her flat, let alone play another violin. She recounts the details in her new memoir Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung. So now we come to the real reason for the article, to plug Min Kym's new book.
Personally, I think from the interview in I, you can see where the book will be going.
A child prodigy struggles to come to terms with her fame and success, she earns loads of money, buys an amazing violin, has it stolen, a nightmare. I have nothing against Min Kym, far from it. She looks nice and kind in her picture.
But I just do not think this warrants a two-page spread in a national newspaper. I know that music and playing the violin is her life so when something happens to momentarily crush that, it must be a big thing. But it was only her violin that went missing, not her talent, something that millions of people would trade in their most precious object or item for.
Anyway, the violin was finally retrieved all though Min could not get her hands on it after she 'couldn't afford to pay back the £750,000 insurance money she'd received after the theft'. This was all after the thieves tried to sell it for a 100 quid, not knowing what they had on their hands. John Maughan was sentenced to four and a half years for theft, which is outrageous and his teenage accomplices were sentenced for their involvement.
As previously stated, money has an important role to play in this article, as the thieves would never have been such a heavy punishment if it was just a plain old violin. Obviously, they did not know how much it was valued at otherwise they would not have tried to sell it on the cheap in an internet cafe down the road from where they stole it. Even a bloody Crimewatch episode was aired about the theft, for Christ sakes, Insanity.
So, in the end, the violin became the possession of the insurance company who auctioned it off to a consortium, after 'it had been found in a warehouse in the Midlands'. Just before it did, Min was able to say goodbye. "When I said goodbye to it properly, that's when it really hit home. It was like round two, with more sense of finality". The violin did not respond to her goodbye. #The Loss