US Customs Won’t Apologize For Destroying Musicians’ Rare Flutes – Foreign Policy


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US customs officials destroyed 11 rare flutes by a respected Canadian musician on his way home through New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport last week. But the agency doesn’t apologize for the incident – it says the flutes were an ecological threat.

US Customs and Border Protection officials identified flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui’s instruments as agricultural products that risked introducing “exotic plant pathogens” into the United States, customs official said at Foreign Policy. As a result, authorities destroyed every flute without contacting Razgui in an incident that made your vacation airport delays trivial in comparison.

Razgui said there are around 15 people in the United States with such flutes, which means it might not be possible to acquire one until his next performances in February. “I don’t know what to do”, Razgui Recount The Boston Globe.

US customs officials destroyed 11 rare flutes by a respected Canadian musician on his way home through New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport last week. But the agency doesn’t apologize for the incident – it says the flutes were an ecological threat.

US Customs and Border Protection officials identified the instruments belonging to flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui as agricultural products that risked introducing “exotic plant pathogens” into the United States, a customs official said. Foreign police. As a result, authorities destroyed every flute without contacting Razgui in an incident that made your vacation airport delays trivial in comparison.

Razgui said there are around 15 people in the United States with such flutes, which means it might not be possible to acquire one until his next performances in February. “I don’t know what to do”, Razgui Recount The Boston Globe.

“They said it was an agricultural item,” Razgui continued. “I fly with them all the time and this is the first time there’s a problem. It’s my life… It’s horrible.”

Razgui’s crash was first reported by the music blog Herniated disc Tuesday before moving on to the front page of the massive link-sharing site Reddit, which almost melted the little blogthe servers of according to a follow-up post. Although neither the blog nor The globe Received a response from U.S. Customs on the matter, a New York-based CBP official tells us the agency followed standard protocol.

“CBP is charged with detecting and preventing the entry into the country of exotic plant pests and animal diseases that could harm America’s agricultural resources,” one official said, after being asked whether the ‘agency would apologize. “The fresh bamboo canes were seized and destroyed according to protocols established to prevent the introduction of plant pathogens into the United States.”

Razgui, who has worked with many American ensembles and performs regularly with the Boston Camera, said he handcrafted each instrument with hard-to-find reeds. “Nobody spoke to me. They said I had to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC,” he said. The globe.

The CBP official said that Razgui’s baggage had not been claimed and added that “fresh bamboo is banned from entering the United States to prevent the introduction of exotic plant pathogens.”

Update: In an e-mail exchange with NPR Music, a customs official said no musical instrument was involved in the CPB’s actions – a claim that was not offered to FP. History indicates that fresh bamboo was found in the separate luggage of Razgui’s 11 flutes. However, when American Airlines finally delivered Razgui’s luggage, it did not contain the streamers. If both statements are true, it remains a mystery as to what really happened to the flutes and why they did not show up in his luggage.

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