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Rome Reports

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Vatican Nativity scene and Christmas tree to be “sign of hope” against Covid-19

The Vatican wants the Nativity scene and Christmas tree this year to be a “sign of hope” against Covid-19.

The tree comes from Slovenia. It's a spruce tree about 91 feet tall. The country is shipping it to celebrate 30 years of independence.

The tree is from a region that takes special care of the environment and where forests make up 90 percent of the land.

Slovenia is also home to what is considered the tallest spruce tree in Europe. They call it “Sgermova smreka.” It's about 203 feet tall and is 300 years old.

The Nativity instead is Italian and comes from the Teramo province, famous since the 16th century for its ceramic sculptures.

The sculpted figures are larger than life. It's a work created about 50 years ago by students and professors at an art school.

The style hearkens back to ancient Sumerian and Greek art. The sculpted figures are cylindrical because they are formed by overlapping rings.

The inauguration of the tree and the Nativity scene will take place on Dec. 11 at 4:30 p.m. Security measures permitting, the pope will hold a morning meeting with delegations of officials and artists involved in the project.

Javier Romero

Translation: CT