• Short Summary

    THE WORLD-FAMOUS CRAFTSMEN OF THE KHAN EL KHALILI BAZAAR IN CAIRO, EXPERTS IN THE FIELD OF INTRICATE OBJECTS D'ART IN SILVER, GOLD, METALS, IVORY AND PEARL, STILL TURN OUT THEIR WORK DESPITE A DROP IN TOURISM AND BUYERS SINCE THE MIDDLE EAST WAR OF JUNE, 1967.

  • Description

    THE WORLD-FAMOUS CRAFTSMEN OF THE KHAN EL KHALILI BAZAAR IN CAIRO, EXPERTS IN THE FIELD OF INTRICATE OBJECTS D'ART IN SILVER, GOLD, METALS, IVORY AND PEARL, STILL TURN OUT THEIR WORK DESPITE A DROP IN TOURISM AND BUYERS SINCE THE MIDDLE EAST WAR OF JUNE, 1967.

    THE SCENE IS A THOUSAND YEARS OLD, AND COULD FORM THE BACKGROUND TO THE STORIES OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS, AS VISNEWS STAFF CAMERAMAN KEN LUDLOW FOUND WHEN HE VISITED THE BAZAAR RECENTLY. HIS FILM IS INTERESTING COVERAGE OF A BEAUTIFUL, BUT LITTLE-PUBLICISED PART OF CAIRO.

    SYNOPSIS: THE WORLD FAMOUS KHAN EL KHALILI BAZAAR IN CAIRO IS A SCENE THAT COULD FORM THE BACKGROUND TO THE STORIES OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS. IT IS THE LIVING PAST, MODERNISED ONLY BY TOURISTS WITH TWENTIETH-CENTURY GADGETS LIKE CAMERAS AND WATCHES.

    THE CRAFT PRACTISED HERE IS ALSO A THOUSAND YEARS OLD AND THE REASON FOR THE BAZAAR'S FAME. FOR IT IS HERE THAT SOME OF THE WORLD'S FINEST OBJETS D'ART ORIGINATE -- EXQUISITE JEWELLERY, FINE SILVER AND GOLD WORK, BRASS AND COPPER CARVINGS, MOSAICS OF IVORY AND MOTHER OF PEARL INLAID INTO BOXES OF THE FINEST WOOD... IF IT IS BEAUTIFUL, AND CAN BE MADE BY HAND, IT CAN BE MADE BY THE CRAFTSMEN OF THE KHAN EL KHALILI.

    IN RECENT YEARS, THE BAZAAR HAS RELIED HEAVILY ON TOURISTS TO EARN A LIVING. SINCE THE MIDDLE EAST WAR OF JUNE 1967, HOWEVER, TOURISM HAS FALLEN OFF. BUT IN THE TRUE TRADITION OF THE FINEST CRAFTSMEN, THIS HAS NOT DETERRED THEM FROM TURNING OUT THEIR HAND-WORKED MASTERPIECES. THEY STILL HAMMER, WORK AND SHAP ANY MALLEABLE OR WORKABLE MATERIAL INTO OBJECTS FOR THE CONNOISSEUR OF THE BEAUTIFUL.

    THE CRAFTSMEN, PAINSTAKINGLY AND PATIENTLY BRAZING, CUTTING, OR SHAPING - ALWAYS SLOW AND ARDOUS PROCESS--WORK AGAINST A BACKGROUND OF NOISE, COLOUR, AND THE SMELL OF A THOUSAND SPICES BLENDED INTO HEAVY AND HEADY FRAGRANCE. THEY SURELY ARE ARTISTS -- FOR PERHAPS CRAFT, WITH ALL THE SKILL THAT THE WORD IMPLIES, IS STILL TOO LOWLY A WORD TO DESCRIBE THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS. THEIR ART WAS PROBABLY LEARNT AT THE KNEES OF THEIR FATHERS AS SOON AS THEY WERE OLD ENOUGH TO HANDLE A FRETZEL, OR POLISH A PEARL. AND THEIR FATHERS LEARNT FROM THEIR FATHERS, AND SO ON BACK THROUGH THE AGES -- SO THAT WHERE SPACE-AGE MAN NOW BUYS HIS ART, SO ONCE DID GOTHIC MERCHANTS AND ROMAN DEALERS; CARTHAGINIAN GENERALS AND PERSIAN TRADERS. LITTLE WONDER, THEN, THAT A SHORTAGE OF MERE TOURISTS FAILS TO HALT THE EXQUISITE ART OF CENTURIES.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA48XV0O8W0B9NPS0VHUP3KP1AL
    Media URN:
    VLVA48XV0O8W0B9NPS0VHUP3KP1AL
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    31/03/1971
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:12:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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