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Vatican Nativity scene inspired by landscape of rural southern Italy

2012-12-13

MONS. GIUSEPPE SCIACCA 

Secretary General of Vatican City 
"They offered to have us show this Nativity scene from Basilicata at Charlemagne Hall, but we thought it would be best to show it at St. Peter's Square.” 

The Nativity display depicts a traditional peasant scene in Basilicata because, as the author explains, Jesus chose to be born amidst poverty. In addition, the surrounding landscape shows several churches representative of that Italian region. 

FRANCESCO ARTESE 
Nativity scene artist 
"Between the landscape of Sassi of Matera and the people and shepherds, there are about 100 sculptures that show the traditional customs of the peasants in the area.” 

The Nativity scene will remain hidden until December 24. However, we do know that the structure will include replicas of the famed frescoes from the Crypt of the Original Sin in Matera. 

It depicts several scenes from the Old Testament such as the Creation of Adam and Eve. 

FRANCESCO ARTESE 
Nativity scene artist 
"The entire white structure will be covered by the frescoes of the Crypt of the Original Scene, that for us is like our 'Sistine Chapel'.” 

The president of the Basilicata region, Vito De Filippo, explained that the cost of 90,000 euros was covered by local businesses, as well private donations. 


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