Friday 8 December sees the inauguration of the international exhibition "100 Nativity Scenes in the Vatican" in preparation for the 2025 Jubilee
The Dicastery continues its "The Jubilee is culture” series in preparation for the next Jubilee 2025. The third event scheduled is the International Exhibition "100 Nativity Scenes in the Vatican", which brings together the works of numerous artisans depicting the crib scene. Each of the different representations is the fruit of the imagination of the individual artist and their creativity is expressed in every nativity scene.
The inauguration of the Exhibition will take place at 4pm on Friday 8 December 2023 under the left arm of Bernini's Colonnade, in St. Peter's Square, in the presence of Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, and of the Italian Ambassador to the Holy See, His Excellency Francesco Di Nitto. This year’s exhibition will mark the 800th anniversary of the Greccio Nativity Scene, the first-ever representation of the Nativity, which Saint Francis had built in Greccio, a few miles from the Italian town of Rieti, at Christmas 1223. To celebrate the anniversary, Father Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, will also be present at the inauguration, as will the Mayor of Greccio, Emiliano Fabi.
The opening ceremony will be accompanied by music from the children's choir of the A. Malfatti school from Greccio, and by the band of the Vatican Gendarmerie. The exhibition, which will officially begin with the inauguration ceremony, will be open to visitors until Sunday 7 January 2024, every day from 10am to 7.30pm under the Colonnade. Entrance is free, with last visits of the day 15 minutes before the evening closure. On 25 and 31 December 2023 the closing time will be brought forward to 5pm.
In the exhibition, more than 120 nativity scenes will be on display, coming from 22 countries around the world: Italy, Croatia, Spain, San Marino, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, United States, Colombia, Taiwan, Venezuela, Philippines, Guatemala and Paraguay.
The visitor will be able to admire original works of all kinds: a totally mechanized nativity scene will be on display, one carved in the shape of a classic wooden coffee machine, others sewn in fabric, as well as pieces from famous collections such as the Turin Cathedral Nativity Scene, the Nativity scene of the Ulma Family Museum, from Poland, and the Nativity scene of RAI Vaticano [RAI is Italy’s state broadcaster]. Various organizations and associations will also participate with their exhibits, including the National Association of Friends of the Crib, the ‘City of Cribs’ Association, and the Pistoia Embroidery Club. Also on display will be two nativity scenes created in the prisons of Verbania in north west Italy. Many schools have also taken part in the initiative, including several from Lazio and one from Estonia, the St. Michael Society School from Tallinn.
Journalists and media representatives who wish to participate must send a request, within 24 hours of the event, through the online accreditation system of the Holy See Press Office. The address is: https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/accrediti/pubblico/accredito.html