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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 January 2008, 23:05 GMT
In pictures: Venice Carnival

Costumed participants in the Venice Carnival

The masks and cloaks come on as Venice holds its world-renowned carnival.

Costumed participants in the Venice Carnival

The canals of the famous Italian city are the backdrop for 12 days of promenading.

Employees of Venetian designer Stefano Nicolao make adjustments to costumes

It is a high point of the year for Venetian costume designers like Stefano Nicolao.

Costumed participants in the Venice Carnival

The 18th Century - the twilight of the Venetian Republic - usually inspires the costumes but there is room for experimentation.

US rapper Coolio at the carnival

US rapper Coolio of Gangsta's Paradise fame brought a 21st-Century touch when he was invited as a guest of honour.

US rapper Coolio scatters confetti at the carnival

Assuming the role of the Carnival "Angel", he scattered confetti from a cable suspended above St Mark's Square.

Costumed participants in the Venice Carnival

The carnival in its modern form dates from the 1980s but carnivals in Venice go back to the 13th Century.

Costumed participants in the Venice Carnival

Visitors to Venice can see the costumed paraders strut their stuff up until Shrove Tuesday, 5 February.



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