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STAFF REPORTER THE livelihoods of many traditional Majorcan craftsmen are suffering as a result of competition from cheap imported goods from the Far East. Souvenirs being sold in tourist shops around Majorca in high season are likely to come from anywhere else other than the island. The knock-on effect of this practice is the damage it is doing to the genuine Majorcan craft industry. Francisca Truyols, who is a master in the art of making traditional ceramic figures called siurells, has spent more than 30 years manufacturing what is seen as the most representative of all Island souvenirs. She sees the practice of exporting the trade to be made cheaply in Asiatic countries as the death knell of craftsmanship on the Island. “Sales have really plummeted,” Truyols claimed, “but I go on making the siurells for congresses, hotels and agencies who use them as direct gifts for clients.” Other craft trade outlets, who didn't want to be named, said that tourists are buying souvenirs believing them all to have been made on the island. “They can't make the distinction,” said one souvenir shop owner. Although they might be put out on shelves saying that the items are “souvenirs from Majorca,” they could have been made anywhere, complained another. But Jose Tirado, President of the Tourist Businesses Association, said yesterday that the Asian souvenir factory business has also been hurt by the crisis. “These souvenir shops are stockpiling goods, they're not selling anything,” he claimed. A spokesman for Majorcan company “Creaciones Garvi” acknowledged yesterday that as opposed to mementos being fashioned by skilled regional craftsmen, they are likely to have been reproduced in factories in Thailand, Indonesia and India. A representative from the company, he said, travels to Asia in October to take the designs the company want produced next season, to factories in the so-called “third world.” Once they have been manufactured, the souvenirs are then distributed to 1'500 shops from Gerona in Catalonia to Gibraltar - “some 600 in the Balearic Islands,” he confirmed. In this way, exactly the same “treasured memento” from Majorca could be sold in Cartagena or Salou.