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Damascene Mosaic Craft (SANA)
Damascene Mosaic Craft (SANA)

Ancient Damascene Mosaic Craft

(Dp-news - Sana)

DAMASCUS- Mosaic workshops spread since the 19th century all over the old city of Damascus as the number of people employed in this craft increased to over 28 thousand people in the mid-20th century who supplied the market with large quantities of products.

Since the 19th century, the Damascene people have known the craft of mosaic through a wide range of its wooden products inlaid with silver, shell and bone to make home and office furniture.

Craftsman Abu-Tawfiq al-Kallas told SANA that manufacturing mosaics is more than one stage starting from the wooden frame to applying mosaic plates on it.



He said that the mosaic plates have different colors; some are natural and some are dyed, pointing out that the red color is from flowers wood; the yellow color from lemon wood and the while color is from bone and horse bone in particular.



Mohammad Fayyadh, an official at the Craftsmen Union, said that the deterioration of the mosaics craft is due to high taxes on basic materials in addition to the recession of its products in the market and the entry of new products which are similar to mosaics but made of low-cost materials.

The absence of a specialized party to market the heritage products in general and the mosaics in particular has added to the deterioration of the mosaic making craft.



Craftsman Al-Kallas also highlighted the difficulty of finding new markets by the craftsmen themselves, saying that such an issue requires efforts from several governmental, occupational and economic parties to achieve growth and progress of this craft.

He cited the issues of exempting craftsmen from taxes and ensuring the raw materials at low taxes as solutions that might help achieve boost for a lot of crafts, including the mosaic which has become in urgent need for support as a genuine national heritage product that expresses the identity of the oldest city in the world.



Mosaic making is based on certain kinds of wood such as nut wood, beech, flowers and lemon wood.

Nowadays, the art of mosaic is threatened with extinction because of its high cost and low demand at local markets. Mosaic has become a craft for tourism based on external demand.
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