Online campaign launched to protect handicrafts as virus fears hurt sales

March 10, 2020 - 8:37

TEHRAN – An online campaign has been launched in Iran to protect handicrafts as fears of coronavirus outbreak have left shops and stores empty countrywide.

Artisans, craftspeople and retailers could join the campaign that aims to boost online sales making the best use of social media services, CHTN reported on Sunday.

Organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, the campaign also aims to maintain sales of handicrafts in the face of coronavirus pandemic which has called off many crafts exhibits and marketplaces across the country.

“The web-based campaign is launched to let Iranian craftspeople introduce their works to people free of charge,” one of organizers said.

Traditionally, sales of handicrafts surge on the verge of the Iranian new year (Noruz) that falls on March 20 this year. Moreover, a large number of handicrafts are bought as souvenirs during the new year vacations and travels, which have widely been restricted this year in an effort to halt the coronavirus spread.

Iran’s National Coronavirus Combat on Friday urged the nation not to travel to certain provinces due to the closure of schools and universities in the country to prevent the spread.

Iran’s handicrafts exports reached $289 million in the past Iranian calendar year 1397, showing three percent growth year on year, based on data released by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts. Traditional ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones are among Iranian exports to Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany, the U.S., the UK, and other countries.

AFM/MG

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