Floating nativity brings Christmas to Venice lagoon

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    By Reuters Staff

    VENICE, Italy. – A group of 60 plywood nativity figures floats in an open stretch of water in Venice’s lagoon, with a church as a festive backdrop.

    Painted by local greengrocer Francesco Orazio, the figures have been planted on wooden stakes.

    Their feet emerging for just a couple of hours a day when the tide ebbs, Joseph, Mary, the ox and the donkey surround Baby Jesus under a hut, as a wise king approaches.

    Shepherds, animals and other characters can be seen nearby as small boats sail a short distance away.