Iran national handicrafts exhibit canceled amid COVID uncertainty

October 12, 2021 - 18:12

TEHRAN – The 35th national handicrafts exhibition of Iran has been canceled due to ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.

The major event was due to take place at the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds from October 19 to 22.

“This exhibition was to be held from October 19 to 22. However, to hold the exhibition as glorious as possible, it is postponed to a time when the coronavirus restrictions come to an end through public vaccination,” deputy tourism minister Pouya Mahmoudian said on Tuesday.

“This year, after research, we concluded that the coronavirus restrictions would remain in place… moreover, the health of craftspeople is very important to us, so it was decided to postpone the exhibition to a more appropriate time,” she explained.

Organizers of the exhibition had previously publicized that the event might be postponed to another date if the unstable condition of the pandemic continues.

Last year, the 34th national handicrafts exhibition was held online for the first time in a decision is made by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts to promote handicrafts, craftspeople, and dealers in the pandemic era.

The exhibit traditionally brings together craftspeople and artisans from all over the Islamic Republic to showcase arrays of personal ornamentation, woodwork, illuminated manuscript, miniature, textile printing, enamel, leatherwork, handwoven textile, calligraphy, traditional musical instrument, metalwork, and marquetry to name a few. Nomadic culinary arts, live workshops, and performances are among other themes for the event.

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. The value of Iran’s handicrafts exports stood at $120 million during the first eleven months of the past Iranian calendar year 1399 (March 20, 2020 – February 18, 2021), Mehr reported. The country’s handicrafts exports slumped during the mentioned months in comparison to the same period last a year earlier due to the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.

The Islamic Republic exported $427 million worth of handicrafts during the first eleven months of the calendar year 1398. Of the figure, some $190 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through 20 provinces, according to data compiled 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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