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Herat antique industry in danger of disappearing

Herat antique industry in danger of disappearing

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Feb 09, 2020 - 20:08

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): A number of antique sellers in western Herat province say their business has been struggling with survival due to lack of buyers and tourists.

They ask the government to make a program for their products to be sold outside the country.

Abdul Wali, who has been associated with antique business, said he was worried about the disappearing antique market in Herat.

“Antique market collapsed after foreign tourists stopped visiting Afghanistaninfo-icon,” he said. He added antiques sold in the market were made of copper, gold, silver, glass and metal household objects.

Wali said previously more than 150 shops sold antiques a few years ago, but now only a limited number of such shops existed in Herat.

Mohammad Ewaz, another antique seller, also said that the arrival of modern objects to market and lack of tourists were main reasons behind of poor antiques’ market.

“No tourists visit here and that is why the industry is collapsing,” he said, adding that they were trying to keep the industry alive.

Mohammad Omar, head of Antique Sellers Association in Herat, expressed concern over lack of market for antique products and warned the industry would collapse in few years if the government did not pay attention.

“Our business depends on tourists, the security situation is very bad and the government also pays no attention to this industry, I think 40 or 50 shops which are open now would be also closed in near future,” he said.

Yahya, a resident of Herat city said, “Antique industry is our identity and the government should support it by finding market outside the country.”

Khalil Ahmad, another resident of Herat said, “Unfortunately old industry is facing recession with the arrival of technology.”

Herat information and culture officials refused to comment on the matter.

But governor’s spokesman, Jailani Farhad said that the local administration would try to support the antique industry.

Archeologists believe that presence of foreign tourists can help boost the antique market if the insecurity situation is improved.

mds/ma

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