Homesick pope? Vatican opens Argentine gaucho show

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VATICAN CITY (AP) - 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.

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

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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