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In pictures: Vatican sand nativity scene

A nativity scene made entirely of sand is on display at the Vatican.

Russian artist Ilya Filimontsev (L) and Czech artist Radovan Zivny (R) sculpt sand to construct a nativity scene at Piazza San Pietro in The Vatican on 6 December 2018 Image copyright AFP
Image caption This nativity scene, made out of 720 tonnes of sand, is 5.5m high (18ft) and 16m wide
The Vatican nativity Scene, sculpted from sand, is inaugurated at St Peter's Square in Vatican City on 7 December 2018 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The sand, offered by the town of Jesolo in Veneto, has been mixed with water and compressed into blocks to make it durable
The sand sculpture was unveiled at the same time as the official St Peter's Square Christmas tree lighting ceremony Image copyright EPA
Image caption The scene features Joseph, Mary, angels, shepherds, animals and the three kings...
The Vatican nativity Scene, sculpted from sand, is inaugurated at St Peter's Square in Vatican City on 7 December 2018 Image copyright EPA
Image caption ...as well as Jesus as an infant
The scene was inaugurated earlier this month along with a giant Christmas tree Image copyright AFP
Image caption It was inaugurated earlier this month on St Peter's Square along with a giant Christmas tree
Sand sculptors Radovan Zivny, Susanne Ruseler, Ilya Filimontsev and Rich Varano pose in front of the nativity scene as the artwork is inaugurated at St Peter's Square in Vatican City, 7 December 2018 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The work was made by US sand artist Rich Varano (R) and three sculptors: Radovan Zivny (L), Susanne Ruseler (CL) and Ilya Filimontsev (CR)
The Vatican nativity Scene, sculpted from sand, is inaugurated at St Peter's Square in Vatican City on 7 December 2018 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The scene will be on display until 13 January

All photographs subject to copyright as marked.

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