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Rome, capital of Christmas: 167 Nativity scenes from 33 countries on display

2015-12-13

They vary greatly: some are traditional, others are modern. Some are simple, others are complex. There is sand sculptures in some and movement in others. 

These are the Nativity scenes that have arrived in Rome for the exhibition '100 Presepi' in Piazza del Popolo. More than 30,000 visitors are expected to see the exhibit.

The exhibit is celebrating it's 40th anniversary and has even more Nativity scenes for the occasion. This year there are 167 Nativities from 33 countries, selected from 450 candidates after a tough competition. In the very beginning there were only 10. Most come from the Rome and Naples regions of Italy.

MARIACARLA MENAGLIA
'100 Presepi' Exhibition
"In the Nativity scenes you can see the traditions and cultures of the place they come from, some of the cribs are colored, others made of wood, quite delicate, and there are some that reflect the traditions of the Neapolitan territory, which are very famous around the world.”

Nativity scenes like these are famous throughout the world. Made in 18th century style, the characters are built with terracotta, have glass eyes, and wear silk dresses.  

And if anyone is impressed, it's the children. 

MARIACARLA MENAGLIA
'100 Presepi' Exhibition
"Children will make parents do what they would like to do, so we created a workshop called 'The Nativity Game' this year where children can build a Nativity character with flour paste to take home.”

These scenes range from the most basic, with just  Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, to others with a wide range of characters. This exhibit goes to show that the only limits to continuing a centuries-old Christmas tradition is one's imagination. 


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