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Rug Cleaning and Repair in Santa Fe: "Disappearing Act" of $30,000 Silk Hereke Rug

Santa Fe, New Mexico:  A local couple brought their silk-on-silk Hereke carpet to local rug store Azhar's oriental rugs located on 217 Galisteo St. for cleaning and repair.  An odd paper trail and other quirky elements add to a very complex and mysterious story.  Sounds like the case of a flying carpet... 

According to sources, the rug had been brought to the Azhar's Rug store in March, 2007.  It's not uncommon for specialty rugs such as this to require original masterweaver expertise to repair, so the couple had agreed to pay the cost of shipping the rug to and from Turkey, $750 for the actual repair cost, and an additional $500 for cleaning. 

The owners of the carpet came back to the rug store around one month later, where upon arrival, they were told to come back at a later time as no documentation of the rug being in the stores possession was available.  The owner then returned some time later with his $500 deposit receipt, and a photograph of the rug.  The store then showed the gentleman three invoices which apparently had been signed by someone other than the owner himself.

To add to the confusion, there were other mysterious paper trails giving different repair costs, value estimates for the rug and even a shipping address to where the rug was apparently sent to Houston Texas address yet a claim filed with UPS as "missing". 

The owners of the rug demand to have it returned, however have not heard back from Azhar's rug company.  The couple wishes to have the rug returned, seeking damages of $30,000 and additional refund of down payment for initial cleaning and repair.

Silk on silk Hereke are among the more sought after carpets produced.  Often these rugs have exceptionally high knot count, with other distinguishing characteristics which may sometimes include metal threads woven into the pile.  


Tom Sharpe, The New Mexican.  August 6, 2008.

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