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Music to her ears: Lost violin worth $172K found

A rare violin worth $172,000 left onboard a Boston-to-Philadelphia bus Tuesday night has been found, much to the relief of the music student who forgot it in the overhead compartment.

Muchen Hsieh, who was borrowing the violin while she studied at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music, noticed she didn't have it after getting picked up by the family hosting her visit to the Philadelphia area. 

She called Megabus, the low-cost bus company that had transported her, but was told the instrument - made in Naples in 1835 by Vincenzo Jorio - hadn't been found.

She told CBS Philadelphia the violin was insured, but irreplaceable.

“I’m a violin major so I really hope that the person that took it can give it back to me so I can continue my studies because right now, I can’t do anything,” she told the station, which described her as "fatigued." 

The violin had last been seen on a Megabus on Tuesday at 29th and Market Street in Philadelphia. Philadelphia police started a search and told the public it could be returned to one of their stations with no questions asked.

Hsieh told investigators that she left the instrument in an overhead bin. The violin was loaned to her by the Chi Mei Culture Foundation in her native Taiwan while she studies in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Megabus was desperately searching for the valuable piece of lost luggage, which hadn't actually been stolen, but had just been moved off of the bus to a holding area in one of Megabus's facilities.

"She contacted us about a half hour after she got off, but by then, [the bus] had moved on. We couldn't trace down the luggage immediately," Megabus USA director Bryony Chamberlain told msnbc.com on Friday. "It was found by our cleaners yesterday. I'm very relieved. We're very lucky." 

It was a particularly fortunate find during the holidays when travel is up, Chamberlain said.

"We carried about 22,000 people [nationwide] yesterday. People will leave luggage behind while going to see their loved ones, so we do whatever can - it shows our procedures worked correctly."

As of Friday morning, the violin had been picked up from Megabus by the police and was on its way to Hsieh, who could not immediately be reached by msnbc.com for comment.

While Chamberlain said Megabus is "very pleased" with the find, she said the tale serves as a lesson for travelers.

"It's an awfully high value to put into the luggage compartment," she said. "We do recommend if you have expensive items, take them with you to your seat."

The instrument bears the original label of its maker, Vincenco Jorio 1835 Vi CM Post #9901.

The Associated Press and msnbc.com's Alastair Jamieson contributed to this report.