BANGALORE, INDIA -- One of the major activities taken up by All India Granites and Stone Association, also known as AIGISA, is organizing international granites and stone fairs in India. The first ever stone fair in Asia was held by AIGSA in 1987. Since then it has held Stona 92, Stona 96, Stona 99 and Stona 2002. Stona 2004, the 6th international granite fair, will be held from February 4 to 8, 2004 in Bangalore, India. Spread over 1.2 million square feet, having 1,200 units of approximately 32 x 32 square feet, Stona 2004 has had tremendous response for exhibitors. Within one month of announcement, 60% of the stalls were taken, and it is likely that expansion will have to be carried out to accommodate a larger number of exhibitors of stone and machinery industry people.

Stona is co-sponsored by United Nations Industrial Development Organization -- UNIDO -- along with S. S. I., Mines and Commerce ministries of government of India. A special feature of Stona 2004 -- apart from 500 exhibitors -- is an Artisan Hamlet, where rural stone artisans from all corners of India will participate and demonstrate their skills at the fair.

There will also be a stone museum displaying all known ornamental building stones, including granite, marble, slate, sandstone, limestone and others with full data available. There is also a buyer-and-seller meet, which will be organized jointly with UNIDO at the fair.

Stona 2004 will be the largest single show window of exotic natural stones of India. Amongst the exhibitors, there will be Italian, Spanish, Chinese and several other countries as exhibitors.