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Unesco

DECISION 7.COM 11.18

The inter-governmental Committee for the safeguard of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

1. Taken into consideration that Italy proposed Cremona’s traditional violin-making tradition for the inclusion in the list of the intangible cultural heritage:

Cremona violin-making tradition is well-known for its traditional process of production and restoration of violins, violas, cellos and counter-basses. The violin-makers attend a specialized school based on a strong relationship between teachers and students and, once they have concluded the school, they keep training themselves in a local workshop where they improve their technique: a long-lasting training process. Every violin-maker makes from 3 to 6 instruments per year, assembling more than 70 wooden pieces around an internal shape, according to the different acoustic answer of each piece. Every violin is unique. Every part of the instrument is made with a specific kind of wood precisely selected and naturally well matured. Semi-industrial or industrial materials are not used. The handicraft needs a high level of creativity: it has to adapt the general rules and the personal knowledge to every instrument. Cremona’s violin-makers are deeply convinced that sharing their knowledge is fundamental to make their art grow. Moreover, the dialogue with the musicians is considered essential to understand their needs. Traditional violin-making is promoted by two associations, the Consortium Violin-Makers “Antonio Stradivari” and the Italian Violin-Making Association and it is considered fundamental for the identity of Cremona and of its citizens. It plays a fundamental role in the social and cultural activities, traditions and events of the town.

2. It is decided that, according to the information contained in the candidature 00719, the candidature satisfies the criteria for the inclusion in the representative list, as listed hereafter:

R.1: traditional violin-making was transmitted generation after generation, both through the apprenticeship and through formal education, playing an important role in the daily life of Cremona citizens and creating a sense of identity.

R.2: Considering the high level of competence and the manual skills of the famous (at international level) violin-making tradition, its inclusion in the Representative List can become an example of human creativity, contributing to intercultural dialogue and visibility of the intangible cultural heritage in general.

R.3: The past and current efforts to safeguard the handicraft are supported by the participation and support of several interested subjects, among which the Municipality and the national government, the local institutions and the workshops/associations of violin-makers.

R.4: The violin-makers and their associations, together with the local institutions and the representatives of Cremona, participated to the process of candidature and they support it.

R.5: The element is included in the national register of the cultural heritage managed by the Ministry of Cultural Goods and Activities; moreover, the Archive of ethnography and local history of Lombardy Region included the element in its Register of Intangible Heritage of Lombardy Region.

3. It is enrolled Cremona’s traditional violin-making in the representative list of the intangible cultural heritage.