Thursday, August 02, 2007

World’s largest carpet

A view of the handmade carpet at the Imam Khomeini grand mosque in Tehran on Tuesday.
Iran has unveiled what it said was the world’s largest handwoven carpet, worth $5.8 million and larger than a football pitch, to be laid out in a United Arab Emirates mosque.

Iranian officials say the 6,000 square-metre carpet is the biggest handmade carpet in the world and will be carried to the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

The biggest hand-woven carpet in the world has been unveiled in Iran. The sumptuous masterpiece, which measures 5,625 square metres (60,500sq ft), is almost big enough to cover the football pitch at Wembley Stadium (7,140 sq m).

The carpet is called the Qasr al-Alam (The Palace of the World) and took Ali Khaliqi, an Iranian artist, eight months to design. It was woven by 1,200 women, aged between 15 and 60, over 16 months. Working in three villages in northeastern Iran, they tied 2.2 billion knots and used 38 tonnes of the finest mothproof wool and cotton. They were supervised by 50 men acting as technical experts.

The carpet, worth £2.8 million ($5.5 million), will grace the floor of the main prayer hall in a huge mosque in Abu Dhabi named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the late President and founder of the United Arab Emirates. Given the unprecedented size of the carpet, it had to be knotted on nine looms and the nine pieces will be stitched together in Abu Dhabi.

Photographers had to board helicopters yesterday to capture the magnificent carpet in full when it was revealed for the first time on an open-air prayer ground in Tehran.
Several lorries were needed to haul the carpet to the location and it will be taken to the UAE in two aircraft.

The predominantly green and cream carpet features the traditional Persian motifs of swirling vines and five medallion centrepieces. Twenty-five colours were used incorporating 20 different natural dyes.

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