Sand nativity sculpture debuts at Vatican


VATICAN CITY (WTHR) - Artists have put the final touches on the huge nativity scene sculpted in sand that will be unveiled in Saint Peter's square Friday.

The nativity scene is made from more than 700 tons of sand and was designed by an American artist Rich Verano.

The sand for the massive temporary sculpture was shipped from the Italian sea-side town of Jesolo, which commissioned the work.

The seaside resort is known for its annual sand sculpture events, which attract artists from around the world.

Verano worked with three other renowned international sand sculptors, taking 15 days and 150 hours to complete what is believed to be the largest sand nativity scene for Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican, where it will be admired by hundreds of thousands of faithful and tourists before being dismantled in January.

"It is a very wonderful experience because of all the rich culture and history,” Verano says. “And in the shadow of the great masters, to do the work here, emotionally it is a very humbling experience. The work we do we are very used to, it is normal for us to do sand sculptures of this size, but we have never made a sand nativity as big as this."

Verano hopes that all the people who enjoy it, either in person or online, will experience the same joy and emotions he enjoyed while creating the sculpture.

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