One of the traditional images associated with the tale of the birth of Jesus, which, apparently, is what Christmas is all about, is the three wise men congregating around the newly born baby bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In Naples nativity scenes have developed into an art form since the Baroque period and many families have one on display in their homes over the festive season.
The craftsmen who operate along San Gregorio Armeno in the historical centre of Naples are famous for adapting the traditional nativity scenes to reflect the zeitgeist. Last year the figurines wore masks, but this year the three wise men have been provided with Green Passes. The Green Pass is mandatory in Italy for travel on much of the country’s transport system and to gain entry to many cultural and leisure venues and evidence that the bearer has had at least one dose of the vaccine or has tested negative or has recently recovered from the virus.
“As the wise men have travelled a long way following the star”, explained one of the craftsmen, Marco Ferrigno, “it made sense that they displayed a Green Pass complete with QR code”. Indeed.
Reaction to this novel way of getting an important message across has been generally positive.