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A visitor walks past a fake horse displayed during the unveiling of the exhibition "Argentina. The Gaucho: Tradition, Art and Faith", in the Carlo Magno wing of Bernini's colonnade in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Friday, May 17, 2013. If Pope Francis is getting a bit nostalgic, all he has to do is slip into St. Peter's Square for a dose of Argentine culture. In a remarkable coincidence, a long-planned exhibit on Argentina's famed gauchos opens Friday in the Vatican's exhibit space just off the piazza. The exhibition will run until June 16, 2013.
VATICAN CITY—If Pope Francis is feeling a bit homesick these days, he need only go downstairs to St. Peter's Square.

The Vatican on Friday opened an exhibit on Argentine gauchos, the legendary horsemen of the pampas—a show that's been years in the works and coincidentally opened under the first Argentine pope.

Officials weren't sure when Francis might swing by "The Gaucho: Tradition, Art and Faith," which opened in an exhibition space underneath the piazza's colonnade. But if he goes, he'll find antique silver straws and mate gourds—containers for Argentina's traditional herbal tea—saddles and stirrups, ponchos, documents and a host of gaucho-inspired artwork.

Photographs are displayed during the unveiling of the exhibition "Argentina. The Gaucho: Tradition, Art and Faith", in the Carlo Magno wing of
Photographs are displayed during the unveiling of the exhibition "Argentina. The Gaucho: Tradition, Art and Faith", in the Carlo Magno wing of Bernini's colonnade in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Friday, May 17, 2013. If Pope Francis is getting a bit nostalgic, all he has to do is slip into St. Peter's Square for a dose of Argentine culture. In a remarkable coincidence, a long-planned exhibit on Argentina's famed gauchos opens Friday in the Vatican's exhibit space just off the piazza. The exhibition will run until June 16, 2013. ((AP Photo/Andrew Medichini))

The exhibit also highlights ties between Italy and Argentina, which received waves of Italian immigrants—Francis' ancestors included—over the years.


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