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Is that a Nativity set or a cake? Rome exhibits unique Nativity scenes

2013-12-14

The star that guided the three Wisemen has already arrived to Rome. It actually stopped at Piazza del Popolo, where an exhibition houses more than 150 Nativity scenes.

MARIACARLA MENAGLIA
Director "100 Presepi”
"The idea came up in the 70's, when the tradition of setting up Nativity scene was being wiped out by that of the Christmas tree. My father, the journalist Mario Menaglia, was quite concerned, because it was an Italian tradition and also because he was very religious. So with 10 artist friends he started to organize the exhibition in the parking lot of Villa Borghese in Rome.”

There are Nativity scenes from 31 different countries and 11 Italian regions. Peruvians celebrate the birth of God with songs, whereas in Croatia a shepherd announces that the Messiah has finally come to world. 

Meanwhile, Our Lady covers the Baby Jesus with a blanket and in Slovenia everyone follows the scene. The three Wisemen arrive from Belgium this time with their gifts for the Baby. And very thoughtfully a donkey from Panama warms the little one. From all over the world, people come to worship the Son of God.

MARIACARLA MENAGLIA
Director "100 Presepi”
"We received 450 petitions to participate, so the selection was really difficult. In the end, the works exhibited share a great quality, and that is what I like, the fact that it has become a wonderful display of handcraft. The theme is always the Nativity, but they are so very well done that they really are works of art.”

The Italian displays have all different sizes, shapes, and materials. Even though this one may seem small, it also celebrates Christmas. And while we can't recognize anything except an old set of keys in this other one, all the personages are present. Here, the Nativity set is built with forks, spoons and knifes. And this other one from Sicily, uses beach-stones. 

Going north, the news go unnoticed in Rome. But, in the middle of the daily rush, Christmas' main characters show their faces. The celebrations are one of sweetest moments of the year, as this Nativity scenes made of candy and biscuits show. In the exhibition there's a Nativity set for all tastes-this year it will impossible not to find the way to Bethlehem.


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