2017 Edition

Go, and do likewise

In today’s world, so busy and interconnected, there is a universal law that is unique due to its presence in all cultures: “Do to others as we would have them do to us, and do not do to others what we would not want them do to us.” This law is so precious that it is known as the Golden Rule. In this 16th annual edition of the Sand Nativity, the sculptures remind us not to lose sight of the Gospel values, which are the heritage of all for the peaceful coexistence of humanity.

We, as individuals, can start to be the change we would like or hope to see in the world.

The Works



“While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her child and she gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Lazzaro e il ricco Epulone 1

Lazarus and the rich man

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table.”

Il buon Samaritano

The good Samaritan

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. «Look after him» he said, «and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.» Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”  The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Lazzaro e il ricco Epulone 2

Lazarus and the rich man

“Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in these flames.”

La pecorella smarrita

The lost sheep

“Which of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lost one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that was lost until he found it? Having found it, he would joyfully place it on his shoulders, return home and call his friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. And so I tell you, there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people with no need of repentance.”

Figliol Prodigo 1

The prodigal son

“A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father: “Father, give me the share of the estate that will come to me”. So he divided his property between them. A few days later, the younger son gathered all his belongings and set off for a distant country, where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.”

Figliol Prodigo 2

The prodigal son

“Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!”. “My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Vita quotidiana 5

Scene from everyday life

In addition to the scenes of Gospel episodes, parables and the Nativity, to complete the exhibition, some sculptures have been made portraying scenes of daily life in the time of Jesus.

Vita quotidiana

Scene from everyday life

In addition to the scenes of Gospel episodes, parables and the Nativity, to complete the exhibition, some sculptures have been made portraying scenes of daily life in the time of Jesus.


The Annunciation

“The Angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a Virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David. And the Virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her: ‘Rejoice, o highly favoured, the Lord is with you’.” The artist wanted to portray the Annunciation inside a circle, to symbolize perfection.

La moltiplicazione dei pani e dei pesci

The multiplication of the loaves and fishes

“The people sat down. There were about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves and, having said the blessing, he gave them to the people seated there; he did the same with fish and they ate as much as they wanted. When they were filled, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces left over, so that nothing is lost’.”

I magi

The three Wise Men

“And suddenly, the star they had seen rising went forward and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight.”

Pannelli pittorici

Pictorial panels

The exhibition route is enhanced by pictorial panels by Damon Farmer portraying landscapes of ancient Bethlehem. Glimpses of everyday life among the sculptures, set in the narrow streets of the city, enhance the visitor’s impression of being transported to the time and place of Jesus and becoming part of the presentation.

Artists at work and inauguration