This year’s Christmas crib in St. Peter’s Square is a work of art that demands to be discovered. It was created in the second half of the 1960s and takes up current themes of the time. In this way, it builds a bridge between the birth of Jesus, the beginning of the Second Vatican Council and the conquest of the moon. For this reason, this year’s nativity scene also includes an astronaut.
It was created by pupils under the guidance of their teachers at the F. A. Grue art school in Castelli, very close to the Gran Sasso mountain massif in Abruzzo. The band of light behind the figures also indicates this. It shows the silhouette of this mountain massif. The baby Jesus will be unveiled on Christmas Eve. Now it is still hidden under a red cloth directly in front of the big angel.
The manger invites us to linger, to look. It does not radiate the cosy atmosphere that we are normally used to from nativity scenes. It is as unusual and unwieldy as the whole pandemic year 2020. (text and photos/eka)