St. pe­ter’s squAre gets sAnd nA­tiv­ity scene

The Sunday Guardian - - The Week -

VAT­I­CAN CITY: The tra­di­tional na­tiv­ity scene in St. Pe­ter’s Square won’t be so tra­di­tional this year. For the first time, it is made of sand—720 tons of it. For the past two weeks, Rich Varano, a pro­fes­sional sand artist, has been guid­ing three sculp­tors from the Nether­lands, Rus­sia and the Czech Repub­lic, to craft the work, which mea­sures about 5.5 me­tres high by 16 me­tres wide. Varano, 60, the artis­tic di­rec­tor of the mas­sive work, doesn’t mind if you call him “Mr Sand­man”. Sand is his life and love. The Amer­i­can from Florida di­vides his time be­tween the United States and Italy. Heavy trucks brought the sand, of a type par­tic­u­larly suited for sculpt­ing, from the north­ern Ital­ian sea­side city of Jesolo, near Venice, in mid-Novem­ber.

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