Visiting UNESCO DG impressed by local handicrafts

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Visiting UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova (third from left) inspecting a Laksala-made white gold ring set with a Lankan blue sapphire and studded with diamonds at Colombo 7’s Laksala Museum Gallery Café yesterday mornng as her husband Kalin Mitrev looks on

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Visiting UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova admires a handicraft by a Lankan craftswoman (far right) at the Laksala Museum Gallery Café, Colombo 7 on 17 August as UNESCO Focal Point Sri Lanka & Senior Advisor to the Minister of Industry and Commerce Himali Jinadasa (second from left) and DG/CEO of Sri Lanka Handicraft Board Laksala Ali Ahlam Nawaz (second from right) look on

The first ever UNESCO Director General to visit Sri Lanka yesterday expressed her delight at being introduced to local handicrafts at the country’s premium handicraft collection, noting that Sri Lankan handicrafts had won the attention of the guardian of world’s intangible cultural wealth UNESCO.

“Fantastic!” was the prompt riposte by visiting UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova at the Museum Gallery Café outlet of Laksala, Sri Lanka’s apex national Gift & Souvenir Boutique.

Bokova was touring the Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s Laksala Museum Gallery Café at Albert Crescent yesterday morning with her delegation joined by Secretary General of Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO Dhammika Wijayasinghe, UNESCO Focal Point Sri Lanka & Senior Advisor to the Minister of Industry and Commerce Himali Jinadasa, DG/CEO of Sri Lanka Handicraft Board Laksala Ali Ahlam Nawaz, Chief of UNSECO’s Section for Cooperation with Multilateral and Private Funding Sources Shantha Retnasingam as well as DG Bokova’s husband Kalin Mitrev who is the Bulgarian government’s high powered representative on the Board of Directors of London’s European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

“I am impressed by the quality and workmanship of Lankan handicrafts,” said Bokova.

Bokova carefully scrutinised various handicrafts and jewellery on display before finally settling down on an orange coloured mini-Fire Devil Kandyan Mask to mark her visit to the Colombo 7 outlet. Laksala CEO Ahlam and UNESCO representatives who showed Bokova a TV documentary on Lankan handicraft production, also briefed her on various aspects of local handicraft designs and its supply chains.

Laksala, the only state owned Gift & Souvenir Boutique and which functions under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce was established under the National Crafts Council and Allied Institutions Act of 1982. Its slogan is “All of Sri Lanka”. Laksala earned Rs.232.6M in Q1 ending 31st March -a 12% growth compared to 2015’s Q1. The vison of Laksala to be the leader in the gift and souvenior market in Sri Lanka to uplift traditional skills in rural areas. Laksala has 14 modern showrooms in strategic locations carrying over 20,000 quality guaranteed items-all manufactured by Sri Lankan craft entrepreneurs, keeping alive the traditional skills whilst infusing modern designs.

 

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/562183/Visiting-UNESCO-DG-impressed-by-local-handicrafts#sthash.l39hi5gX.dpuf

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