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AP PHOTOS: Tattoo artists gather for convention in Romania

The event showcased artists inking elaborate designs of animals, children and fantasy creations for customers. See photos.

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — More than 100 tattoo and piercing artists have brought their skills and art to a three-day convention in the Romanian capital.

The three-day event which ended Sunday showcased artists inking elaborate designs of animals, children and fantasy creations for customers. Others came simply to watch the body artwork being created.

Stars included Paul Booth, one of the world’s most famous tattoo artists. The American is known for his bold and dramatic full-body, leg and neck tattoos. Well-known tattoo collector Yall Quinones from Puerto Rico also attended the event.

Organizers noted how the tattoo culture has become more popular in the past 30 years, evolving from events that drew mostly bikers in the 1970s to more mainstream conventions where thousands turn up.

A beard and mustache competition was also held at the convention, just behind the giant palace built by late Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu.

One man who attended the convention claimed he had not trimmed his mustache since 1979.

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