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The Dicastery for Evangelization continues its cultural initiatives for the “Jubilee is Culture” programme in preparation for the upcoming 2025 Jubilee. The third to be scheduled, the International Exhibition “100 Nativity Scenes in the Vatican”, brings together works by numerous artisans depicting the Nativity scene, each one expressing and realizing the imagination of the artist in a different way.

The inauguration of the exhibition will take place at 16.00 on Friday 8 December 2023, under the left wing of Bernini’s Colonnade in Saint Peter’s Square, in the presence of Archbishop Rino Fisichella, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, and the Ambassador of Italy to the Holy See, His Excellency Francesco Di Nitto. This edition is intended to commemorate 800 years of the Greccio Crib, the first depiction of the Nativity, realized by Saint Francis in the town a few kilometres from Rieti at Christmas in the year 1223. To mark the occasion, Fr. Massimo Fusarelli, minister general of the Order of Friars Minor, and the Mayor of Greccio, Emiliano Fabi, will be present at the inauguration.

The opening ceremony will be accompanied by the Choir of the children of the “A. Malfatti” Comprehensive Institute of the municipality of Greccio, and the musical band of the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps. The exhibition, which will be officially opened with the inauguration, can be visited until Sunday 7 January 2024, every day from 10.00 to 19.30, beneath the Colonnade. Entry is free and will be permitted up to fifteen minutes before closing time. On the days 25 and 31 December 2023, the closing time will be 17.00.

Over 120 Nativity scenes will be displayed in the exhibition, from 22 countries around the world: Italy, Croatia, Spain, San Marino, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, the United States, Colombia, Taiwan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Guatemala and Uruguay.

Visitors will be able to admire original works of every type: an entirely mechanized Nativity scene, one carved in wood, in a form of a typical coffee machine, others sewn in fabric, others in pieces from famous collections such as the Nativity Scene of the Duomo of Turin, the Nativity Scene of the Ulma family from Poland, and the RAI Vaticano Nativity Scene. Various entities and associations will also participate with their works, including the Amici dei Presepi National Association, the Città dei Presepi Association, and the Pistoia Embroidery Club. In addition, two Nativity scenes produced in the prisons of Verbania will be on display. Many schools have participated in the initiative, including several from Lazio, and also one from Estonia, the Saint Michael Society School of Tallinn.



Journalists and media workers who wish to participate must apply up to 24 hours before the event via the Holy See Press Office online accreditation system, at: press.vatican.va/accreditamenti