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Vatican's Nativity Scene to Include Elements of Filipino Culture

For a few weeks now, the area around the obelisk in St. Peter's Square, has been concealed from onlookers to shield the construction of the Vatican's Nativity scene. Spanish nun, Sister Áurea, has worked on the setting up of the nativity scenes for 30 years now. She is also in charge of the dresses that go on the figures. She remembers when John Paul II started the tradition the nativity scene in St. Peter's Square – a Christmas tradition which continues today.

Giuseppe Facchini

Bureau of Studies and Projects, Vatican

"The construction of the structures which are then covered with polystyrene, are made by Vatican workers, laborers, electricians, and painters. After a year of working on other things, they become impromptu artists, and they do spectacular work"

Every Christmas this artwork adds new details to surprise the public. The architect Facchini says this year's nativity scene will be visible from 360 degrees. And, the Philippines has a special place in this universal scene.

Giuseppe Facchini

Bureau of Studies and Projects, Vatican

"This year we want to join a cave structure with the stable. We have a wooden deck attached to the structure of the grotto. Since the Philippines has given us figures which are very different from what we have, we decided to create a corner that is different from the others."

This gift from the Philippines attempts to bring the typical atmosphere of their country to the Eternal City. It displays a family of Filipino fishermen with a real canoe and baskets of fruit and fish.

Preparation on the plaza started in November and continues until a few hours before the inauguration on December 24.

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