Historical caravanserai in Qom to turn into 'creative' center for handicrafts

October 27, 2021 - 19:15

TEHRAN – A historical caravanserai in the central province of Qom is planned to be repurposed into a "creative" center for handicrafts, the head of the Fund for Development of Handicrafts and Handmade Carpet and Revitalization and Utilization of Historical and Cultural Places has announced.

A budget of five billion rials ($119,000 at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) has been allocated to the project, Hadi Mirzai said on Wednesday. 

The historical monument will be [temporarily] ceded to the private sector to turn into a center for producing and promoting handicrafts, the official added. 

Handicraft centers offer an opportunity to market and promote handicrafts, and they contribute to the exchange of knowledge between artists and craft producers, he noted. 

Some historical sites and monuments across Iran have been conditionally ceded to the private sector during the past couple of years under the close supervision of the Fund, to achieve higher productivity and better maintenance.

The lack of a sufficient government budget for the restoration of all centuries-old sites is the main reason behind the ceding projects.

In 2019, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts announced that of the numerous historical buildings and structures that are scattered across Iran, some 2,500 ones need restoration.

Qom has been designated as the national city of handmade rings as almost 1,200 crafters and artisans are active in the production of handmade jewelry and rings in workshops across the province.

The semi-precious stone mines, which are scattered across the province, are also one of Qom’s potentials to be developed in this field of handicrafts. Besides domestic travelers, foreign tourists, who are mostly from Arab countries and the Persian Gulf littoral states, are traditionally the main customers of these handmade products.

The second-holiest city of the country after Mashhad, Qom is home to both the magnificent shrine of Hazrat-e Masumeh (SA) and the major religious madrasas (schools). Apart from sightseers and pilgrims who visit Qom to pay homage at the holy shrine, the city is also a top destination for Shiite scholars and students who come from across the world to learn Islamic studies at its madrasas and browse through eminent religious bookshops.

The antiquity of Qom goes back to the Sassanid era (224 CE–651) and several historical mosques, mansions, and natural sceneries have been scattered across the city as well as towns and villages nearby.



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