Tourism minister honors exemplary crafters, artisans

February 21, 2021 - 18:22

TEHRAN – Iranian tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan and his deputy for handicrafts, Pouya Mahmoudian, honored some exemplary crafters and artisans on Saturday.

Behruz Zarindashti in ceramic and Sara Hedayat in costume designing received Silver Cypress, during the closing ceremony of the 5th Fajr national handicrafts festival, one of Iran’s major crafts shows held in the National Museum of Iran.

Furthermore, Zeinab Masudi in illumination, Abbas Jalalikia in woodwork, Saru Moqerchian in metalwork, and Vajiheh Sadat Jalali in woodcarving received honorable mentions, according to organizers. 

Two the recently-deceased veteran crafters; Ahmad Shishegar, who was a master of tilework, and Amir Saeim, a master of toreutics, were honored posthumously during the ceremony, which was attended by tens of artists, crafters, and cultural officials as well. 

Over 150 crafters practicing different fields of handicrafts participated in this edition of the festival, of which several were honored during the ceremony. 

This edition of the festival, which brings together works from all over the country and is a venue for showcasing tens of ancient and modern Iranian handicrafts, was held entirely online due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The event showcased woodwork, illuminated manuscript, miniature, textile printing, enamel, leatherwork, calligraphy, metalwork, mirrorwork, and marquetry, among others. It also featured potteries, ceramics, personal ornamentation, rugs, and kilim carpets.

With 14 entries, Iran ranks first globally for the number of cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council, as China with seven entries, Chile with four, and India with three ones come next.

In January 2020, the cities of 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, 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.

Iran exported $523 million worth of handicrafts during the calendar year 1398 (ended March 19, 2020). 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.


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