From beach to basilica: ‘Sand Nativity’ brings unique style to Vatican

Rich Varano, an American artist and three other sculptors are charged with creating a massive 52-foot-wide “Sand Nativity,” which, along with a 42-foot-tall red spruce tree donated by the Diocese of Concordia-Pordenone in the northern Italian region of Veneto, was to be unveiled at the Vatican’s annual tree lighting ceremony Dec. 7.