Jordan's Madaba wins world’s mosaic city title

Madaba in Jordan has won the 2016 World Crafts City title for mosaic, in a competition organised by the World Crafts City (WCC), the Tourism Ministry announced on Wednesday. A team of experts representing the WCC, which organises the award, visited Madaba in July and checked tourist sites whose grounds are built of mosaic, according to a ministry statement. 

The visit to Madaba, some 30km southwest of Amman, came after the ministry presented WCC with a comprehensive report prepared by a specialised team from the Madaba Institute for Mosaic Art and Restoration (MIMAR), in cooperation with the ministry and Madaba tourism directorate. The delegates also visited MIMAR, and commended its role in preserving the art of mosaic, and its success in training qualified workforce for the local market. 

Tourism Minister Lina Annab said in the statement that “the title gives Madaba an added value as a tourist destination”, in addition to its heritage of historic churches and other important sites in the religious tourism trail. The title would earn the town an "advanced status" on the world tourism map of crafts and mosaic, Annab said. 

She stressed that the ministry plans to coordinate with WCC on organising international exhibitions for crafts and mosaic in Madaba to raise awareness on the old art and national efforts exerted to preserve such heritage. 

Founded in 1964, WCC is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that seeks to strengthen the status of crafts as a vital part of cultural and economic life, to promote fellowship among the craftspeople of the world. Other aims of the council include offering craftspeople with necessary encouragement, help, advice and foster economic development through income generating activities, according to its website.

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