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Vatican prepares for jubilee with ‘100 nativity scenes’

By Vatican News

The Dicastery for Evangelisation is continuing its cultural initiatives for the series “Jubilee is Culture” in preparation for the forthcoming Jubilee 2025. The upcoming third exhibit, entitled “100 Nativity Scenes in the Vatican,” unites the works of various artists from around the world, each portraying different interpretations of the scene of Jesus’ birth.

800 years since the Greccio crib

The inauguration of the exhibition will be held at 4 PM on Friday, 8 December 2023, under the left-hand side of the Colonnade in St. Peter’s Square.

This year’s edition intends to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Greccio Crib, the first depiction of the Nativity, which St. Francis created at Christmas in the year 1223.

The opening ceremony will be accompanied by the Children’s Choir of the “A. Malfatti” Comprehensive Institute of the Municipality of Greccio, as well as by the Band of the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps.

The exhibition, which will officially open with the inauguration, will be open until Sunday, 7 January 2024, every day from 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM, under the Colonnade.

Admission is free and will be permitted until 15 minutes before closing time in the evening. On 25 and 31 December 2023, closing time will be 5 PM.

120 nativity scenes from around the world.

More than 120 Christmas crèches from 22 countries around the world will be on display in this exhibition: Italy, Croatia, Spain, San Marino, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, the USA, Colombia, Taiwan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Guatemala, and Paraguay.

Visitors will be able to admire original works of all kinds: a totally mechanised Nativity scene, one carved in the shape of a typical wooden coffee machine, others sewn in cloth, as well as pieces from famous collections such as the Nativity scene from Turin Cathedral, the Nativity scene from the Ulma Family Museum, from Poland, and the Nativity scene from RAI (the Italian Television Network) Vatican.

Various organizations and associations will also participate with their works. Two nativity scenes created by the Verbania prisons in Italy will also be on display.

Many schools have joined the initiative, including several from Italy and one from Estonia, the St. Michael Society school in Tallinn.

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