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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 October 2006, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
Tattoo fans flock to convention
Man with tattoos at the convention
Some people were displaying their tattoos
About 5,000 fans of body art flocked to east London to see exotic tattoos being etched at the second International London Tattoo Convention.

More than 180 professional tattoo artists from around the world were at the three-day event.

Tattoo originated in Polynesia and was discovered by Captain James Cook in Tahiti, who then brought it to the UK in the late 18th Century.

Tattoos from the Pacific and Japan were the main attractions this year.

Organisers say more than 800 tattoo artists from around the world had applied to take part, but only the best 180 were selected to attend.

Body art was brought to the UK from Polynesia by British sailors

Artists set up camps based on various themes to display photographs and their designs on eager fans.

Groups of heavily tattooed people were also displaying their decorated bodies for curious onlookers.

Many renowned artists like Paul Booth from New York and London's Lal Hardy were attending the event.

Organisers say performer and tattoo artist Lucky Diamond Rich, who is the most tattooed man in the world, will perform stunts during the event.

Marcus Berriman, one of the organisers, said sea-faring men since Captain Cook in 1800s came to London's docklands area and brought tattoos from around the world with them - making the East End a fitting place to host the event.

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