Filigree Week at Expo Dubai

Lisbon, December 3rd 2021. A display of the most emblematic pieces of Traditional Portuguese Filigree art and the “World’s Biggest Heart in Filigree” will be great attractions of the Portugal Pavilion at Expo 20200 Dubai, from December 7th to 12th.

This centuries-old art of working precious metals will be showcased by craftsmen at the Pavilion’s amphitheater, to reveal the details of filigree craft in loco. Several items will also be on display, in addition to a huge filigree heart and a filigree bodice designed by the Portuguese fashion stylist Micaela Oliveira in partnership with a representative of the new generation of filigree artists, Arlindo Moura.

With the aim of safeguarding traditional crafts and unique know-how, enhanced over generations by dedicated men and women excelling in the artistic design of sophisticated filigree pieces, the city council of Gondomar, in the North of Portugal, has applied to include filigree in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, basing and leveraging their intention on raising this art to the level of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The expectation is that this participation at Expo 2020 Dubai could significantly boost their chances to conquer this important goal.

Francisca Guedes de Oliveira, Portugal’s Deputy Commissioner for Expo 2020 Dubai, says that “Expo 2020 Dubai is the perfect stage to show the world the authenticity and sophistication of Portuguese products that Filigree art represents so well”.

Luís Pedro Martins, the president of the Porto and North of Portugal Tourism Board, believes that with this action, the destination “in addition to attain a new opportunity for communicating and promoting the destination, on this great world stage, we strengthen our position in the luxury tourism segment, in a qualified offer that cumulatively demonstrates the Portuguese know-how, together of a high-yield market with a behavior in traveling, which is expected to be one of the fastest growing international markets over the next 10 years”. And these major global events “are excellent moments to communicate with new partners, media, operators and opinion leaders. It is also important to mention that, as in the previous action, we continue to promote our candidates for Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

The officials of the Gondomar City Council have claimed the title of “Portuguese Goldsmithery Capital” for their city. The city has been an important production center for this activity since the 18th century, and it boomed in the following centuries due to an

extraordinary and specialized workforce dedicated to the production of items of jewelry, and filigree in particular. The economic weight of the sector and, above all, the social-cultural impact on the community remains to this day. Local makers now have their handcraft production certified under the banner Filigree of Portugal pursuant to the National Certification System for Traditional Handicraft Production.

For Marco Martins, Mayor of Gondomar, it is “a pride for Gondomar to take Filigree to Dubai”. “We fight a lot to preserve and disseminate our intangible heritage. Expo 2020 Dubai is a world showcase, with millions of visitors who will discover Portugal, the North of Portugal, Gondomar, handcraft Filigree and our Filigree Route”, adds Sandra Almeida, Town Councilor for Tourism.