Not all cultural heritage is tangible and solid, like the Parthenon, the historic centre of Florence or the Rocky Mountains. In 2012, the skill, technique and dedication which for centuries have been concentrated in Cremona for the production of stringed instruments, were recognised by UNESCO as a piece of intangible cultural heritage
Cremona duly received city the message, and its museum is now home to antique instruments including the "Charles IX of France" made by Andrea Amati in 1566, the "Hammerle" by Nicolò Amati from 1658, the "Quarestani" dating from 1689 and made by Giuseppe Guarneri (son of Andrea) and the "Stauffer" by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù (1734). Other masterpieces on display are the "Cremonese" by Antonio Stradivari, which dates back to 1715. There are also 700 other exhibits, including drawings, models and tools from Stradivari's workshop. The luthier tradition lives on in Cremona: the hundreds of exhibits on display in the museum include more recent instruments which are not necessarily inferior. In October 2023, the museum opened a new room dedicated to Simone Fernando Sacconi, a violin maker and restorer of antique violins. He was one of the greatest exponents of twentieth-century violin making and an expert on Stradivari. In Cremona there is also a reconstruction of a violin maker's shop, in Piazza Marconi, as well as several research centres, including a non-invasive test laboratory run by the University of Pavia and an acoustics lab at Milan Polytechnic. Even the large auditorium with its futuristic design is a marvel of acoustic engineering. Here you can listen to soloists performing with the magnificent violins made by Amati and Guarnieri . Friends of Stradivari is an international network that maintains contact with anyone who owns, plays or keeps a violin made by the master luthiers of Cremona.