Tuesday, December 21, 2010


INT. NAT. MUSEUM REPORT: In an evocative environment and in the heart of Bethlehem, at a walkable distance away from the Nativity Church lies the International Nativity Museum of Bethlehem. It is one of the richest and valuable collections of cribs in the Holy Land. The Museum has a collection of over 200 Nativity representationsof different styles and dimensions. It is located in the ground floor of the historical Salesian convent of Bethlehem. The variety of the cribs exposed, originating from all around the world, creates a rhapsody of customs, liturgy and rituality from all continents and ethnic groups.

nativity2.jpgThe exposition of the collection reflects the role of the religious and artistic history of Italy according to the tradition of making cribs in different parts of the world, beginning with the living crib of St. Francis in Greccio and from the first sculpted crib of Arnolfo di Cambio in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome. With the help of secular Sicilian and Neapolitan traditions, the fresh Ligurian representations and the contemporary Venetian sculptures, the atmosphere of the Museum is elevated to level of historical research criteria, miniature reproductions, scenographic reconstruction of the landscapes and spectacular original representations. Expressive representations of the event of Nativity are filtered through the soul of the contemporary artists and offered to the public in the form of sinuous bronze sculptures or eccentric ceramic creations.

No historical or geographical philology is violated in the representation of Nativity: the birth of Christ is realized at the present time and every time and in every place. That is why the content of the Museum is International, if not Universal. That is why the baby Jesus has almond eyes and Thailandese dresses, and close by he is kept warm by Lamas. The Afflatus of universal event is reflected also in the ecstatic pleasure of admiring the artistic taste of almost all the countries of the world at one and the same time: the wooden carved crib from Africanhas no end for its astonishment. The poetry of Andine and south American woods-cribs, the charm of theAsiatic pieces, the European scene, which space out from the rigorous traditional representation to the most original pieces.

The Museum is located along the “Star Street”, the same way traditionally covered by the three Wise Men in order to meet the baby Jesus in the Nativity Grotto. The way even today leads to the Manger Square, where is the Nativity Church.
The International Nativity Museum is ready to welcome Pilgrims every day according to a flexible timetable (morning, afternoon and evening). The visit of the Museum is guided by the collaborators or by the Salesians themselves in different languages.
Adjacent to the Nativity museum there is the Salesian Artistic Centre. There you can admire some youngsters of Bethlehem who are learning the traditional manufacturing of olive wood, mother of Pearl and Ceramics.


Full pay: 4 Euro - 20 NIS
Reduced: 3 Euro -15 NIS

+970 598911511

Convention with Tour Operators and agency are foreseen.

The Agencies and the groups are encouraged to contact the Director of the Museum to reserve a Tour or to stipulate a Convention:
Elisa Nucci - International Nativity Museum - Artistic Director
316, Star Street, Bethlehem
E-mail: nativitymuseum@salesianbethlehem.com
Office: +972 (2) 2760076
Palestinian Mobile: +970 597 392809
Israeli Mobile: + 972 548 197986


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