(Persia Digest) – Deputy for handicrafts at the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran has said: “Currently, Iran leads the world with eight craft cities and two villages. China comes next with six craft cities and villages, and Chile is third with four craft cities and villages.

Pouya Mahmoudian said that registering cities and villages as craft cities played a part in introducing their arts and crafts to the world, adding: “Isfahan is a world craft city, Mashhad is a world city of precious and semi-precious stones, Lalejin is a center for pottery, Sirjan is registered for its kilim, Marivan for its giveh cotton shoes or kalash, Tabriz for its carpets, Kalpurgan for its pottery, Kharashad for weaving towels, Abadeh for its wood carvings, and Meibod for its zilu. These are ten of Iran’s cities and villages which have been registered for their arts and crafts.”

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Mahmoudian pointed that 15 other cities are preparing documents to submit to Unesco’s handicrafts council for registration. She added: “The dossiers will be ready by March 2020 and sent to the World Crafts Council.”

Mahmoudian also commented on handicraft exports, saying: “We had over USD 107MM worth of exports and a 9.5 percent growth in the first six months of the Iranian calendar year beginning March.”

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She added: “Based on the statistics announced at the end of 2017, a total of USD 257BN in global turnover has been announced for 34 handicraft codes. Iran ranks third in producing handicrafts in terms of variety, but our economic rank is 30. We believe this must be improved drastically and our country can do much better.”

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