MATI, Gadheemee Collection begin traditional stone carving course

Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) and Gadheemee Collection has kicked off a course on traditional stone carving.

Conducted in association with the tourism ministry and arts and culture ministry, the first-of-its-kind “Traditional Stone Carving Course” runs for two months starting June 20. Ten applicants were selected, to be trained under the sponsorship of MATI.

The course began with a special function held at the national museum in capital Male on June 22. Arts and culture minister Yumna Maumoon, tourism minister Ali Waheed, and MATI Secretary General Ahmed Nazeer attended the ceremony and spoke at the event.

Other attendees include Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Managing Director Thoyyib Mohamed as well as senior officials from tourism ministry, arts and culture ministry, MMPRC, and MATI. Gadheemee Collection’s founder Mohamed Imran Ahmed, who is leading the training, was also present at the function.

During the function, officials from the arts and culture ministry gave a presentation on traditional stone carving as well as a tour of the museum.

“The preservation and promotion of Maldivian culture is a key area of focus for MATI. Furthermore, traditional stone carving was picked specifically as research suggested that this is a dying art with very few traditional stone masons/carvers operating in Maldives,” a statement issued by MATI read.

“MATI also believes that the Tourism Industry is a viable platform that can assist in the revival and promotion traditional arts and crafts by providing artisans and craftsmen a platform to showcase their products and services and earn a living out of practicing traditional arts and crafts.”

As a non-profit established since the introduction of tourism in Maldives, MATI has been at the forefront of almost all travel and tourism related activities and issues in the Maldives for the past three decades. The association coordinates with government and liaise with organisations locally and internationally to solidify member services and operations in the tourism sector.

Founded in 2010, Gadheemee Collection aims to reintroduce the almost lost traditional art form of stone carving, which is embedded in the history of Maldivian arts and crafts, by recreating the ancient lime stone carvings made by our ancestors.

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