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100 of the most unique nativity scenes on display in Rome

2009-12-10

It’s ‘100 presepi’, or nativity scenes, an exhibit at Piazza del Popolo in Rome. For 34 years, nativity scenes from all corners of the world have come together in Rome to celebrate Christmas.

Maria Carla Menaglia
‘100 presepi’

“This exhibit is very interesting because through the nativity scenes you can see what makes each country unique.”

Take this one for example. It’s from Kenya. Here, St. Joseph, the Virgin and the baby Jesus are depicted as an authentic ‘kukuyu’ family, Kenya’s largest single ethnic group.
This exhibit is a journey thought the worlds cultures and folklore, while keeping the tradition of nativity scenes during the Christmas season alive.

Maria Carla Menaglia
‘100 presepi’

“The goal of the exhibit is to spread the tradition of nativity scenes. So that nativity scenes can go up at home, the office and schools during the holiday.”

Creating one of these nativity scenes takes years. Every one of these figures are handmade and are layered with detail. Every detail is layed out in this grand representation of Cristmas.

Some of the works are made by professionals while others are made by even the youngest protagonists of Christmas: the children.

Maria Carla Menaglia
‘100 presepi’

“We also have some nativity scenes that were made at schools or by associations. These are the most.These are the most endearing, they are full of fantasy.”

An exhibit that takes the young, and the not so young, to journey around the globe through these nativity scenes. A tradition that makes Christmas in Rome more universal.

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