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Violin made in 1758 stolen from Chicago musician's home

A Nicolò Gagliano violin from 1758 was stolen from Chicago-based Chinese musician Minghaun Xu's family home last week while they were sleeping.

Chicago-based Chinese musician Minghaun Xu's 1758 Nicolò Gagliano violin was stolen from her family home last week while they were sleeping. | Photo: Loyola Chicago Staff Directory

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago musician is hoping for the return of a violin made in 1758 that was stolen from her family’s home while they were sleeping.

Minghaun Xu said the instrument was made by renowned Italian violin-maker Nicolò Gagliano and was lent to her by a private sponsor 20 years ago. It was taken along with a newer violin and her son’s cello.

“Losing that violin is like losing a family member,” Xu said. “It’s like losing my own voice. The violin itself lost a voice, the violin needs to be played. And my heart is broken.”

Xu is a music faculty member at Roosevelt University and performs with a University of Chicago ensemble.

Xu said she didn’t believe her home was targeted for the early Wednesday burglary because of her instrument.

The violin, which is insured, has a sentimental value greater than its monetary worth, Xu said.

“What I can tell you is this, that it’s not replaceable, something like that is not replaceable, and it’s beyond its price,” she said. “There’s so much sentimental value to it. It was made in 1758 and sometimes I think about all the stories that the violin has, all of the musicians and violinists who played it before me.”

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