Iran to introduce new art destinations, deputy tourism minister says

February 28, 2021 - 22:10

TEHRAN – World cities and villages of handicrafts, as well as those nationally registered, are planned to be promoted to new art destinations, according to Iran’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.

“The cited cities and villages are planned to be introduced as ‘art destinations’ to domestic and international travelers,” IRNA quoted Pouya Mahmoudian, the deputy for handicrafts of the ministry, as saying on Saturday.

Referring to the national register of 52 cities and villages of handicrafts, and the inscription of 11 cities and three villages of handicrafts by the World Crafts Council, Mahmoudian said: “Those handicrafts should be introduced to more tourists…. We try to introduce these areas as destinations and targets for domestic and foreign tourists.”

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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