World handicrafts cities, Iran’s privilege for tourism development: minister

November 1, 2020 - 19:57

TEHRAN – The development and expansion of the world cities of handicrafts is a privilege that can help improve the international prestige of the country, boost tourism, and promote handicrafts in the global markets, Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan wrote in a note published on Saturday on the occasion of World Cities Day.

While due to the oppressive sanctions, the country’s economy has been weakened and the growing need for appropriate cultural and artistic alternatives is being felt more and more, the country has appeared brilliant in this regard as it ranks first globally in the number of cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council (WCC), he said.

Iranian handicrafts and traditional arts of different cities, villages, and regions such as pottery, wood and metal works, and carpets have always been world-renowned throughout history, even in ancient times, and these handmade products have been exported to other countries, especially through the Silk Road, he added.

In late January, Shiraz, Malayer, and Zanjan and the 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.” Malayer was made a global hub for woodcarving and carved-wood furniture. Zanjan gained the title of a “world city of filigree.” And Qassemabad village, 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.

Iran exported $523 million worth of handicrafts during the past calendar year 1398 (ended March 19). Of the figure, some $273 million worth of handicrafts were exported officially through customs, and about $250 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through various provinces, according to data provided by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.

Ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, the U.S., the UK, and other countries.

ABU/MG

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