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Istancow art event arrives

Istanbul is well-known for its beautiful classical art and stunning architecture, but for the next few months the city is going to be taken over by a herd of artistic cows.

As part of Cowparade - the world's largest public art event - 150 life-sized fibreglass cows will fill the streets of the Turkish city until the end of October.

Each of the bovine statues has been lovingly painted by local artists, residents and celebrities.

Started in 1998 by a Swiss window dresser, the event has already invaded cities like Paris, London, Florence and New York. The organisers hope that the interactive art project will promote creativity, business and tourism.

Holidaymakers who visit the city to enjoy the cow art will also be able to explore a fascinating destination with plenty to divert and excite.

The Lonely Planet has this to say about the city: "Istanbul is one of the truly great romantic cities. Its history tracks back from Byzantium to Constantinople to its place at the head of the Ottoman Empire.

"In this sprawling, continent-spanning city you can tramp the streets where crusaders and janissaries once marched; admire mosques that are the most sublime architectural expressions of Islamic piety; peer into the sultan's harem; and hunt for bargains in the Kapali Carrsi."