Published on 03 Dec 2011 by Toni M.
In the street of San Gregorio Armeno in Naples you can find the traditional “mercatino dei pastori” (shepherds’ market) where detailed models of creche figures have been handcrafted by skillful artists to the delight of Italians and visitors from around the world.
The statuettes aren’t restricted to the classical figures of the Nativity scene, but also includes tributes to contemporary figures, which can range from famous politicians (Berlusconi, Sarkozy, Merkel, Obama, even Bin Laden and Gaddafi have their own figurines), British royalty, sport stars, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the late Steve Jobs have also been crafted and now the late Marco Simoncelli has also been added to the long list.
This 28cm high terracotta figurine was created by Genni Di Virgilio, whose family has been making nativity statuettes and ornate creches since 1830. “It’s a tribute to this great champion, not only on the track but also in his private life. We will miss his smile most of all, his desire to live and win,” said Di Virgilio.