Tehran to host largest handicrafts event

Tehran, June 9, IRNA – Tehran will host International Handicrafts Fair during June 20-25 concurrent with the World’s Handicrafts Day (June 20).

Talking to the Tehran-based English newspaper ‘Iran Daily’, Pouya Mahmoudian, the director general of Handicrafts’ Export Office at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said that the first specialized meeting of Western Asia Crafts’ Council would be held on June 20 with the participation of Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Algeria.

“The seven-day event will showcase crafts produced by domestic and foreign artisans in 405 pavilions,” he said, adding that foreign producers would display and sell their products in 10 pavilions.

Mahmoudian said the ‘Plaque of National Confidence in Handicrafts’ would be unveiled during the expo. It will be awarded to high quality handicrafts’ exhibitions, he added.

The official said in spite of Western sanctions, the export of crafts showed a 36-percent increase during the year to March 2015, compared to the corresponding figure of previous year.

He added the sanctions have affected non-oil exports, as they impose obstacles in the way of transferring cash and commodities.

Mahmoudian noted that a greater volume of handicrafts is thought to have been exported during the time, since there is only access to official statistics released by Iran’s Custom Administration.

“There is no exact statistics on personal export (luggage export) of crafts”.

On the other hand, the worth and volume of jewelry export has not been officially announced for two years because of security measures.

The official named woodworks, pottery, ceramics, traditional glassware, copper-made crafts, precious and semi-precious stones, kilim (flat tapestry carpet), carpet, miniature and tazhib (a kind of Persian painting used to decorate calligraphy) as main export items.

“The highest volume of items was exported to Germany, which was followed by Brazil, South Africa and Australia,” he said, adding Iranian crafts are exported to all continents.

He referred to Iraq, Georgia, Turkey, the Netherlands, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Tajikistan, Italy, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Japan, Qatar and Denmark as the main importers of Iranian crafts.