Renovated museum of nativity scenes to be inaugurated
The only museum of its kind in Slovenia features a diverse collection of nativity scenes from Slovenia, which are made of different materials.
It boasts more than 400 sets of nativity scenes, which have been collected over the last 30 years, putting on display around 300.
"While walking through the museum, one can compare nativity scenes from different European countries, but also from other continents," the head of the Brezje Pilgrims' Office Andreja Eržen Firšt told the STA.
She highlighted Bavarian and Polish nativity scenes as well as black ones from Africa.
The head of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Brezje Robert Bahčič said that every exhibited piece was unique.
The museum also features the history of making nativity scenes in Slovenia and abroad, Eržen Firšt explained.
Also put on display is an imitation of a fresco from the Italian town of Greccio, where Francis of Assisi started the tradition of nativity scenes 800 years ago.
The tradition is being cherished in Brezje by Franciscan monks; father Leopold Grčar started collecting the nativity scenes several decades ago.
Gradually, an association of nativity scene-lovers was set up and the museum opened in 2001.
The museum, whose renovation was launched two years ago, will be inaugurated by Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore.
Eržen Firšt believes it will attract many visitors.
Brezje is annually visited by 225,000 to 250,000 pilgrims from different countries and continents, data from the Pilgrims' Office shows.