Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Displays War Rugs from Afghanistan

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PHILADELPHIA, PA (AP).- From afar, the ornate rug looks like a blur of color and nondescript geometric patterns. But a closer look reveals the unmistakable shapes of helicopters, tanks and weapons. The Oriental carpet from war-torn Afghanistan exemplifies a traditional craft with a modern twist. It’s one of more than 60 on display at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia through July. U.S. and Canadian soldiers buy many of the rugs as souvenirs, and the textiles show the intersection of art, commerce, tourism and war, experts say. “People who are in pretty severe circumstances will make what sells,” exhibit curator Max Allen said. For centuries, rug-makers have woven colorful threads to depict flowers,