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Exhiibition of colonial nativity scenes by Ecuadorian artisans.
An example exhibition of colonial nativity scenes by Ecuadorian artisans. Photo: La República

A Nativity Scene Exhibit to celebrate Christmas in Quito

The Museo Franciscano Fray Pedro Gocial of Quito welcomed Christmas with an exhibition of 40 colonial nativity scenes.

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Inside the Museo Franciscano Fray Pedro Gocial, located in the convent of San Francisco in the Historic Center of Quito, an exhibition of artistic nativity scenes is being held as a way to welcome Christmas. With 40 works of art that come from different areas of the capital, the exhibition will be on display until Jan. 6. 

For the exhibition, the nativity scenes were made with recycled materials: cardboard, foam, stucco, straw, wood, fabrics, tiles and seeds, according to Friar Victor Pupiales, director of the Fray Pedro Gocial Museum. Some nativity scenes were built with shells and sand, others with cardboard and colored paper. 

Some nativity scenes reflect Ecuadorian customs and diverse settings, such as the Church of San Francisco itself. Nativity scenes have become a faithful reflection of the coexistence of the Indigenous, colonial and spiritual worlds.

Latin American artists and artisans introduced their own form of expression and their particular look, involving elements typical of the regions and popular trades in colonial times.

"Depending on the skill and intention of the artisan we can have, for example, nativity scenes from the highlands or the Andean region where they represented the nativity of an indigenous child or virgin," said Pablo Rodriguez, administrator and coordinator of the Museo Franciscano Fray Pedro Gocial.

The display of nativity scenes has been a tradition in Quito since 2006, when Friar Walter Verdesoto proposed an exhibition with the theme of the 100 nativity scenes of the world, and figures from different parts of the world added their own takes.

Last year, the exhibition was suspended due to COVID-19, and resumes this year with the commitment to comply COVID safety standards such as the use of masks, alcohol, gel and compliance with gauges, said Pupiales.

 

 

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