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Traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona presented in Paris

In the occasion of the European Heritage Days 2023, the Permanent Representation of Italy organized an event in the Parisian UNESCO headquarters in order to celebrate the “Traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona”, inscribed in the Intangible Cultural Heritage list since 5th December 2012. The initiative allowed the public to discover cultural expressions from various regions of the world, practices and knowledge that have an important role in the history and the identity of peoples and that have been preserved thanks to the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

On September 16th, Elena Bardella, teacher at the “Antonio Stradivari” International School of lute-making and her French student Hélène Boulestin performed a live demonstration of the art of the Cremona lute-making masters, who have a centuries old history of making beautiful bow instruments such as violins, violas, cellos and double basses. In this context, visitors also had the opportunity to attend a performance by virtuoso violinist Fabrizio von Arx, Artistic Director of Casa Stradivari Foundation. During the concert that took place in the Meditation Space, designed by famous Japanese architect Tadao Andō and built in 1995, Von Arx delighted the many visitors playing his “Angel – ex Madrileno 1720” Stradivarius violin.

The concentration of Parisian events celebrating Cremona and the lute-making know-how, inscribed in the Intangible Heritage List, is no coincidence”, declared Ambassador Liborio Stellino, Permanent Delegate of Italy to UNESCO, “it demonstrates the importance and the role of the Cremona municipality which, combining the tradition of violin craftsmanship and live performances by contemporary maestros, proves that the lute-making sector is alive and well.”

“Casa Stradivari and I are honored to perform and participate in these Parisian Heritage Days”, added Von Arx. “With the reopening of Stradivarius’ house, its artistic project and the masterclass by young lute-makers, we’d like to preserve the art of lute-making in Cremona, the name of its great maestro Antonio Stradivari as well as music in general. Traditional violin craftsmanship, inscribed as World Cultural heritage, is more and more tangible and “material” thanks to Casa Stradivari and the town of Cremona, capital of lute-making expertise. The great beauty of art and music must always accompany us and it is our duty to preserve and pass it on”.

For the first time, the French capital will host the famous Stradivarius violin called “Il Cremonese 1715”, lent by the town of Cremona to the prestigious Musée de la musique, where it has been on show since September 7th. French and foreign enthusiasts will be able to admire it until November 7th thanks to a cultural exchange initiative between the Cremona Violin Museum and the Parisian museum dedicated to music. The Violin Museum will host an instrument from the Parisian museum, Sarasate’s Stradivarius, sealing the bond between both institutions.