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Photos: Lalejin, Iran's Pottery Capital

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran; photos by Nima Dimari

The city of Lalejin in Hamedan Province lies 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial city of Hamedan and is one of Iran's two most important centers for the production of pottery and ceramics. Pottery making is the main source of the livelihood of the 55,000 inhabitants of Lalejin.

A total of 925 modern and traditional workshops are currently producing pottery and ceramics for 280 small and large shops that exclusively offer such handicrafts.

In recent years, Lalejin, has been invaded by shoddy and cheap ceramic imports from China.

The people of Lalejin have called on central government and provincial officials to stop the imports of inferior ceramic ware from China, the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency reported on Friday.

In addition, Lalejin Mayor Abolfazl Dehleii has warned the Iranian government about the unnecessary importation of Chinese ceramics.

Dehleii said the Chinese products have seriously undermined the city's pottery industry.

Hamedan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department Director Asadollah Bayat has also asked Iranian cultural officials to organize exhibits and workshops on the pottery of Lalejin in order to inform people about the high quality of the handicrafts created in the city.

According to archaeologists and historians, the people of Lalejin have been making pottery for several millennia.

Based on a story that has been handed down from generation to generation, the craft of pottery making was almost entirely wiped out during the Mongol invasion of the area in the 13th century.

Only seven craftsmen survived the invasion and these artisans managed to revive the city's ceramics industry.

Meybod, located in the south central province of Yazd, is Iran's other important center for pottery making.

Over the past decade, Chinese goods have infiltrated into the Iranian market, leading to many bankruptcies in the agricultural sector and in various industries, such as the textiles, shoe-making, and handicrafts industries.

... Payvand News - 06/19/10 ... --

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