The traditional "100 Cribs" International Exhibition, now in its 43rd edition, is moving from Piazza del Popolo to Via della Conciliazione in Vatican this year. The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, since last August, has announced this important artistic and cultural review.
This transfer was decided by Dr. Mariacarla Menaglia, director of the "Rivista delle Nazioni", which body has organized this event for the past 42 years, and who is the daughter of Manlio, creator and founder of the exhibition itself.
"My father Manlio, founded this exhibition in order to keep alive the nativity scene, a typical Italian tradition, - says Mariacarla Menaglia - which is an essential part of our religious culture and for us Catholics, it must be our engagement to keep it alive over time. For this reason, here comes the time for an important and prestigious promotion".
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, has enthusiastically welcomed the proposal by including this exhibition in the calendar of the Dicastery in the Vatican, body that deals with the New Evangelization. - The crib - said Bishop Fisichella - in addition to being a beautiful cultural tradition which was developed by the genius mind of St. Francis of Assisi and spread throughout the world, is a strong instrument for evangelization. So many persons stop every Christmas before the mystery of God made man, represented with statuettes, which in many cases are authentic masterpieces of art to pray, to reflect and to discover the love of God who becomes a child for us" .
The exhibition this year will therefore be called "100 cribs at the Vatican" and will be held during Christmas period from 7 December 2018 to 13 January 2019 at Sala San Pio X in via della Conciliazione.
"100 Cribs" is a presepial art exhibition which begun in 1976, from an idea by Manlio Menaglia, to reaffirm a typical Italian tradition that in those years was at risk to be superseded by the Christmas tree’s fashion extraneous to our culture.
We wanted to draw everybody’s attention, in particular children and young people, to cribs’ work of art ,no matter how they are built as long as they respect the values of peace and brotherhood of which the Nativity is a bearer, in order to reinstate for each family the tradition of crafting the nativity scene following its own project.
Another purpose is to promote the Crib to spread more and more abroad, even in countries where other confessions are professed, thanks to numerous tourists who visit the Exhibition around Christmas time in Rome and to the mass media. The international vocation of the event is, on the other hand, enriched by the exhibits of about 200 new cribs each year, of which more than 50 are from the five continents.
The Exhibition traditionally takes place under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic and under the patronage of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Senate of the Republic, the Chamber of Deputies, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry for Cultural Assets and Activities, Lazio Region, Rome Capital and the National Association of Italian Municipalities.
The denomination "100 PRESEPI" is only a historical reference, as it refers to the number of cribs displayed in the first editions. In the Exhibition, visitors have the opportunity, through the great variety of options, to increase their knowledge of nativity art in its creativity and stylistic aspects.
Indeed, the great interest from the public and from the mass media inspire the diversity of the materials used and of the creative styles which embody a large variety of the wide range of handcrafts that every Italian region and every foreign Country have, in illustrating the culture, the traditions and the folklore of the territory of origin.
The cribs, which are completely rebuilt every year, come from almost all Italian regions and from about 25 foreign countries; they are art works from Italian/ foreign artists and artisans, collectors, amateurs, elementary and middle school students, representatives of cultural and social associations, state and from local bodies and national and foreign museums.