Iran’s first permanent handicrafts marketplace was inaugurated on Saturday in Oud Lajan historic neighborhood in downtown Tehran, aiming to liven up the once thriving locale that was home to merchants and affluent individuals.
Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) Director Masoud Soltanifar along with several high-ranking officials with Tehran Municipality, Transport and Urban Development Ministry, and Tehran City Council attended the inauguration ceremony.
The successfully-implemented handicrafts market epitomizes the convergence of cultural heritage, tourism, and handicrafts in the country, Soltanifar asserted during a brief speech.
He also attached importance to the bazaar establishment as to it embodies a three-dimensional arrangement involving the CHTHO, Tehran Municipality, and the public.
The market is composed of some 50 shops whose renovation started in 2012.
Over the past couple of years, dozens of Iranian handicrafts have gained the UNESCO Seal of Excellence. For instance, in 2010, a total of 65 handicrafts on various themes including enamel, tile, metalwork, leatherwork, wood carving received the privilege.
Statistics compiled by the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran indicate that 2.8 million tons of handicrafts and handwoven carpets, worth $92 million, were exported during the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, 2016.
Oudlajan was an aristocratic region in Tehran during the Qajar era. It had many beautiful gardens and houses, including the House of Hassan Modarres, Malek-ol-Shoara’s Garden, Golestan Palace and the valuable Masoudieh Building.
This neighborhood has been registered on the National Heritage List and its monuments are expected to be protected, CHN reported.
Oudlajan, Sangalaj, Chaleh Meidan, Chaleh Hesar, Sar Poulak, Khaniabad, Qanatabad, Pachenar, Pamenar, Gar Mashin and the bazaar constituted the main texture of Tehran, when it was selected as the capital of the country during the Qajar reign.
Later, during the reign of Reza Shah, when Tehran was subjected to an imbalanced urban changes, parts of this neighborhood were completely destroyed, the most important of which was Sangalaj (current Park-e Shahr). It was considered an important political center of Tehran.