the pop culture nursery with a shepherd astronaut is not unanimous

Installed on the forecourt of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the nativity scene is far from classic this year. It presents original santons, provoking the ire of many faithful.

Too modern, original, extravagant? Friday, December 11, the faithful stopped their applause at the inauguration of the 2020 Christmas crèche, installed on the forecourt of Vatican Square. This year, it is made up of giant cylindrical figures resembling Egyptian mummies, a science fiction warrior and a cosmonaut shepherd.

Faced with this, some did not hide their indignation. MEP Gilbert Collard himself described these santons as “ pagan totems ” and of “ Giant playmobil ». «Everything is going crazy, even the ancestral tradition of the Vatican cribHe bellowed on Twitter. Others shouted at the “shame», While many Internet users initially believed it was a bad joke.

For its part, the Pope Francis expressed no regrets. A few hours before the inauguration of the Christ scene, the latter declared: “ Never like this year, the tree and the manger help to create the Christmas atmosphere favorable to living with faith the mystery of the birth of Christ. ».

The tree and the crib will remain on display until Sunday, January 10, 2021. VINCENZO PINTO / AFP

Made in the years 1960-1970

The Christmas crib takes a long time to prepare. Last year, the latter was made of carved wood, and the craftsmen had spent more than a hundred hours on it. With the health crisis, it is impossible to repeat the feat. This is why the Vatican chose this work, produced in the years 1960-1970, hence the reference to the conquest of the Moon with its cosmonaut.

Only a few of the 54 ceramic figurines in this monumental nativity scene are on display in Place Saint-Pierre. VINCENZO PINTO / AFP

Led in Castelli, an Italian village in Abruzzo specializing in ceramic work since the 16th century, this nativity scene was designed by students and teachers from the FA Crane art institute. No offense to some, these statues have already been exhibited several times in the Holy Land, notably in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem.


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