Na­tiv­ity scene by the ‘Sul­tans of Sand’

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - WORLD -

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.

The gi­ant na­tiv­ity scene (5.5m high by 16m wide) and a Christ­mas tree were in­au­gu­rated on Fri­day as part of the Vat­i­can’s sea­sonal tra­di­tions.

Four sculp­tors known as the “Sul­tans of Sand”, from the US, the Nether­lands, Rus­sia and the Czech Repub­lic, made the crib us­ing sand from the north­ern Ital­ian beach re­sort of Jesolo. The crib’s sand, “a poor ma­te­rial, re­calls the sim­plic­ity, the small­ness with which God re­vealed Him­self with the birth of Je­sus in the pre­car­i­ous­ness of Beth­le­hem,” Pope Fran­cis said.

REUTERS

AN ARTIST works on a sand sculp­ture rep­re­sent­ing the na­tiv­ity scene in St. Peter’s square at the Vat­i­can, last week. |

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