Christmas 2011: Nativity scenes from the Trentino Region in the Holy Land | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Christmas 2011: Nativity scenes from the Trentino Region in the Holy Land

25 novembre 2011

An Exhibition of the oldest Nativity scenes from the Fiemme Valley in Jerusalem.

(Rome, 23rd November 2011). The Holy Land, the cradle of Christianity, will be hosting nativity scenes from the Trentino region and the Associazione Amici del Presepio di Tesero for the first time. The master sculptors of Tesero will be setting up the Nativity scenes next Christmas in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
The initiative was presented this morning at the Vatican Radio headquarters : from December 18th, there will be a life-size nativity in Bethlehem, in the cloister of St. Catherine’s Basilica, communicating with the Grotto of the Nativity. At the same time in Jerusalem, there will be two exhibitions in the Latin Patriarchate and in the Custody of the Holy Land of the oldest and most important nativity scenes of the Fiemme Valley Christmas crib-making tradition. Also in Jerusalem, the large Nativity scene made from fabric, from Isera, a very old village near Rovereto, will be on display in the church of the Latin Patriarchate.

In the Trentino region and in Tesero, the art of “making Nativity scenes” is the expression of an age-old tradition which can be traced back to as early as 1700, when it was imported, probably from the Tyrol, by the workers in the Venetian sawmills. Since then, it has been handed down from father to son, becoming a jealously guarded ritual: representing the Nativity with the figures of the Holy Family and the shepherds carved out of wood. The devotion for these Nativity scenes is so great that it is a family heritage. The symbolic reconstruction of the birth of Jesus, through the manual work of carving and sculpting, takes on such great value for the inhabitants of Tesero, that the nativity scenes are even listed in wills, becoming a private spiritual and cultural legacy. In recent years, the Province of Trento and the Associazione Amici del Presepio di Tesero have been behind a number of important initiatives: from the large Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square in 2006 and 2007 to the one in Krakow in 2008, from the Nativity scene for L’Aquila in 2009 to the ones in Assisi and Istanbul in 2010.
The initiative is organized by the Autonomous Province of Trento with the patronage of the Consulate-General of Italy in Jerusalem, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and thanks to the collaboration of: Rondine Cittadella della Pace di Arezzo, the Associazione Amici del Presepio di Tesero, the Autonomous Region of Trentino Alto Adige, the Town Council of Tesero, B.I.M. dell’Adige, Trentino Marketing, the Tourist Board of the Fiemme Valley, Cooperazione Trentina and the Archdiocese of Trento – Pastoral for the Sick and Pilgrimages.