The larger-than-life-sized pieces were created by Italian students and teachers between 1965 and 1975.
The Christmas Nativity scene at St. Peter’s Square will be made up of ceramic figurines from the Abruzzo region of Italy, alongside a Slovenian spruce tree, the Vatican announced.
The Christmas display will be installed on December 11, and will remain until January 10, 2021.
The Nativity scene was created at a high school in Castelli, in the Abruzzo region of central Italy, an area known for its ceramic craftsmanship. The creche is made up of 54 larger-than-life-sized ceramic figures designed by students and teachers of the FA Grue Art Institute between 1965 and 1975.
Only a few of the figures in the collection will be exhibited at St. Peter’s. The Virgin and Joseph, the Three Kings, and an “angel with open wings” will be included in the display. Also to be exhibited are a musician, a shepherdess with a jug and a little girl and her doll. The Nativity scene has already been on display in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, in the Holy Land.
The Vatican Christmas tree will be a common spruce tree about 92 feet high , from the municipality of Kočevje, in south-eastern Slovenia.