International Craft Awards to focus on COVID-19 crisis: deputy minister

September 1, 2020 - 21:30

TEHRAN – The 4th International Craft Awards is slated to be held this year focusing on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the handicraft industry, Iran’s deputy tourism minister has said. 

“This event was launched in 2017 to identify masters, artists, designers, individuals, or organizations from around the world, thanks to their brilliant contribution to the sustainable and comprehensive development of handicrafts,” CHTN quoted Pouya Mahmoudian as saying on Tuesday.

“In the past three editions, over 1,000 craftspeople form more than 60 countries participated in the event, which recognized a total of 53 winners.”

The event is organized by the Craft Village, a social organization (and a member of World Craft Council-APR, Res-Artis, Netherlands, and Residency Unlimited, New York) based out of New Delhi, working for the training and promotion of handicrafts.

Winners will be announced in December, she said.

Earlier this week, Mahmoudian announced that the handicraft industry and related businesses across the Islamic Republic have suffered a loss of 19,000 billion rials (some $452 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Mahmoudian, Iran globally ranks first in terms of having the topmost number of world cities [and villages] of handicrafts. “Some 295 fields of handicrafts are currently practiced across Iran with more than two million people engaging, majority of whom are women… Handicrafts also play an important role in the economy in our rural villages.”

The Islamic Republic 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 through various provinces, according to data compiled by the ministry of tourism.