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CISADA brings unique opportunity for Houston rug market
Aug '11
Last summer, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Investment Act (CISADA) effective September 29, 2010 expanding the embargo on Iran to include carpets and trade goods sent to and from Iran. This Act gives the U.S. the right to seize and destroy one of a kind, hand-woven Persian rugs and tapestries long considered antique art pieces and highly valued by collectors and the art community. Houston business owner and collector, Alan Tagdisi, has made it his mission to collect, preserve and promote these beautiful masterpieces, amassing possibly the largest and most valuable collections of antique Tabriz silk rugs and tapestries in the world. The centerpiece of this collection is a 150 year old Tabriz Silk Rug valued at $5,000,000. The collection is secured inside a private vault located inside his Gallery; the Oriental Rug Bazaar located on 5525 Westheimer Road, Houston TX 77056 and is opened only on rare occasions to an elite few au courant collectors.

Tabriz rugs are part of the Persian carpet category and are specifically crafted in the Iranian city of Tabriz. Tabriz is one of the oldest rug weaving centers and Tabriz weavers are considered to be among the most skilled weavers in the world, and their masterpieces are highly prized by collectors. The city of Tabriz is located on the outer region of Iran's borders and this has provided the weavers more access to European and Western influences and trends as a gateway for the silk merchants traveling from the Orient through Europe to bring silk and other trade goods into Iran.

As a result, artist-weavers from Tabriz create a diverse array of high end pieces in geometric and dome shapes as well as the traditional round and rectangular Oriental rugs. The quality of the weave combined with the variety of shapes in Tabriz rugs over the centuries has made these rugs more valuable than other Persian and Oriental Rugs. The U.S. sanctions have further increased their value and desirability as these one of a kind works of art are now becoming a rarity in the Western art world.

And a very select few will be invited to view one of the oldest and most beautiful Tabriz rugs locked away inside the Oriental Rug Bazaar's vault and allowed an opportunity to make it part of their collection. Alan Tagdisi has spent a great deal of time and expense to find and preserve his private collection of Persian Tabriz Rugs. "The person who comes in and wants to buy one of my rugs needs to understand and appreciate that they are taking home a masterpiece, a work of art that cannot be found anywhere else in the world." Tagdisi explains "If a person doesn't take care of their car, or is simply looking for a carpet for their new home then we can show them affordable, hand-woven pieces but they aren't invited into the Vault."

Who is among the elite few invited to purchase a rug from the private vault collection? Tagdisi won't share client names, but explains he has private collectors from around the world fly in on private jets: princes, dignitaries and heads of states, presidents. He also has turned down individuals with private jets and large bank accounts wanting to purchase one of his pieces and explains that being able to afford one doesn't guarantee anyone access to view or purchase a rug. "I am preserving a form of art that is dying away and only those who are willing to commit to do the same are given the privilege of viewing these tapestries." Tagdisi states firmly. "These tapestries were hand-woven over a period of years by the artists who crafted them a century or more ago. They are irreplaceable without a time machine and I am passionate about preserving the beauty and magnificence and history of the art of tapestry weaving and Oriental Rugs."

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