Iran leads the world in handicraft hubs

February 3, 2020 - 18:28

TEHRAN – Iran ranks first globally in the number cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council (WCC), deputy tourism minister Pouya Mahmoudian said on Monday.

China with seven entries, Chile with four, and India with three ones come next, she added, IRIB reported.

In late January, cities of Shiraz, Malayer, and Zanjan and village of Qassemabad were designated by the WCC- Asia Pacific Region, putting Iran’s number of world crafts cities and villages from ten to 14.

Shiraz was named a “world city of [diverse] handicrafts”. Celebrated as the heartland of Persian culture for over 2000 years, the southern city was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty (1751–1794).

Malayer was made a global hub for woodcarving and carved-wood furniture. Located in west-central Hamedan province, the ancient city is home to over 4,000 furniture workshops in which more than 8,000 wood masters and some 25,000 crafters are engaged. It was named a national city of woodcarving earlier in the year 1395 (ended March 2017).

Zanjan gained the title of a “world city of filigree”. The art consists of curling, twisting, or plaiting fine, pliable metal threads and soldering them at their points of contact with each other and, if there is one, with the metal groundwork. Filigree, delicate, lacelike ornamental openwork composed of intertwined wire threads of gold or silver, widely used since antiquity for jewelry.

Qassemabad village, which is nationally known for its traditional costumes, was also promoted to a world hub of handicrafts. Chador Shab, a kind of homemade outer-garment for women, was, however, the main subject for the WCC assessment for the village.

Handicraft exports from Iran reached $146 million since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year, Mahmoudian said last December. “Iraq and Persian Gulf littoral countries are among the main target markets for Iranian handicrafts,” she added.

Handicraft exports from the country reached $146 million since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019), tourism ministry announced in December.


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