Boujemaa Razgui, a flute virtuoso who lives in New York and works with many US ensembles, was returning to base over the holiday when Customs officials at Kennedy Airport asked to see his instruments.
Bourjemaa carries a variety of flutes of varying ethnicity, each made by himself over years for specific types of ancient and modern performance. He is a regular guest with the diverse and enterprising Boston Camerata.
At JFK, the officials removed and smashed each and every one of his instruments. No reason was given.
There is an update, which tells us that the reason the flutes were destroyed was that “they were agricultural products.” Somehow, I don’t feel safer as a consequence of the TSA’s actions. Do you?
UPDATE: I’ll stand by the title of this piece as a general proposition, but obviously, I read this story the wrong way. It was Customs that was responsible for the destruction of the flutes, and not the TSA. My apologies.