Customs Agents Smash and Destroy Renowned Flautist’s Handmade Instruments

A Canadian flute virtuoso said he had eleven handmade instruments destroyed by a customs agent at New York City’s John F. Kennedy airport on Tuesday.

Boujemaa Razgui was travelling from Morocco to Boston, where he performs with the Boston Camerata. A customs agent asked to see his flutes, which he had made himself over several years from rare brands of reeds. Declaring them “agricultural products”—the flutes may have been mistaken for pieces of bamboo—the agent proceeded to destroy the instruments.

“I told them I had these instruments for many years and flew with them in and out,” Razgui said to Norman Lebrecht of the blog Slipped Disc. “There were eleven instruments in all. They told me they were agricultural products and they had to be destroyed. There was nothing I could do.”

Razgui said there were only a handful of people in the United States who played his esoteric style of flute. “And now they’re gone,” he said. “I’m not sure what to do.”

[h/t Slipped Disc / The Names Blog]

[Image via Handout]

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