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Artisan nativity scene from Andean Peru shines in Vatican

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The Vatican inaugurated a large nativity scene Friday inspired by Peru’s Chopcca culture that will shine throughout Christmas in the heart of Saint Peter’s Square displaying the beauty of Andean crafts.

“Sometimes, without having anything, we offer it and we comply, but we do it with will, with love and appreciation, and we achieve this feat, a dream that came true,” the governor of the department of Huancavelica Maciste Diaz Abad told EFE.

Every year the Plaza de San Pedro, in front of the basilica, exhibits a nativity scene during the festivities and on this occasion one from South America was chosen for the first time, specifically from that Peruvian region.

The nativity, illuminated Friday, presents the colors and distinctive features of the Chopcca culture, such as an angel announcing the birth of Christ playing the wajarapuco, an indigenous trumpet, or a baby Jesus wrapped in the cloth of a “chumpi.”

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The stable has the architectural characteristics of this Andean town, such as the use of cancanlla stone or the roof of “ichu” or straw, and the Three Wise Men wear Chopca costumes and carry their presents on fire while walking between lakes and mountains.

The idea of ??proposing the nativity scene to the Vatican arose on a trip by the governor in 2019 to Parma, Italy, at a lunch with then-commercial attache of Peru in Milan, Amora Carbajal, and, after sending a letter to the pope, it was done finally possible and now serves to commemorate the 200 years of the country’s independence.

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“It opens the doors for all countries and also opportunities for people to see it (…) That definitely puts you in a very important place, as they say in the eyes of the world, and people are curious to travel to Peru and get to know Huancavelica,” Diaz Abad said.

The inauguration of this monumental Nativity had to be celebrated indoors in the Paul VI Hall due to the intense rain that bathed Rome. The songs of the children of the International Choir of Acolyte Children of Huancavelica and the Choir of Our Lady of Cocharcas could be heard.

But the rain did not prevent dozens of people from defying the weather and coming with umbrellas to contemplate it in the middle of the street.

The installation has been carried out for three months by five Huancavelican artisans, Gady Galvez, Rafael Gutierrez, Carlos Madge, Elvis Galvez and Manuel Brena, with the support of institutions and the Kallpa Generacion electricity company.

“We are very proud, we feel very happy, and at the same time we urge all artisans to work hard for Peruvian crafts to carry it out, because it is a flagship product that is very popular worldwide,” Brena said at the Vatican.

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The five artisans have shaped the pieces of this monument from materials such as fiberglass and resin, with a metal structure to prevent breakage, and filled with foam to make them light, the artist said.

Everything to represent the experience of the places where the Andean man lives and to boast, in addition to one of its excellences, the textile production, characterized by its color and that now covers the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Jesus and all the characters.

Saint Peter’s Square, also decorated with a fir tree from the Italian Alpine region of Trentino-Alto Adige, now represents a piece of Peru, which has moved many Peruvians who live in Rome and who participated at its inauguration.

“I am proud and happy of this important event for all Peruvians,” celebrated the Peruvian Angelica Fernandez, who has lived in Italy for six years and who came with her niece Gabriela.

Valeria Vazquez, born in Rome but whose parents are from Trujillo, came dressed in the typical costume of Cuzco and expressed her “emotion” for the arrival of this Nativity Scene

“I never forget my roots, the roots of my parents,” she said. EFE

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