.- In preparation for the seasons of Advent and Christmas, an exhibit of 35 nativity scenes, crafted in Naples, Italy, will open Nov. 25 in the Pope’s native Bavaria. The exhibit seeks to honor of the German pontiff and to “put God back into Christmas,” reported Fides.
The exhibit will run at Kunstraum Klosterkirche in the town of Traunstein until Dec. 26. The Pope lived in Traunstein as a boy.
The exhibit is titled, “God Becomes Man: The Neapolitan Art of Nativity Scenes.” It is a being promoted by officials in both Traunstein and in Naples, which has a tradition of making Nativity Scenes.
“The Neapolitan Nativity Scene has a tradition and a history which deserves to be told,” said Umberto Grillo, a professor and secretary of Amici del Presepio (Friends of the Nativity Scene).
At a press conference in Rome Nov. 22, he said the first Neapolitan Nativity Scenes were only for the nobility and were the work of great artists. Later, thanks to a Dominican priest, the scenes entered all Neapolitan homes, fostering tremendous devotion.
The Amici del Presepio association offers courses in this art. Among the most successful students are two former prison inmates. They took the course while in prison and have now opened a workshop and storefront on the famous San Gregorio Armeno Street, where most Nativity Scene artists work.