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Taiwan wins 3rd prize in Rome creche exhibition

ROME -- Taiwan won third prize in the foreign division of an exhibition of nativity scenes in Rome Friday, with an entry that featured the indigenous Paiwan heritage.

The creche, entered by the Tainan Catholic Diocese, depicted a Paiwan stone-slab stable made from driftwood found during floods caused by Typhoon Morakot in 2009.

The figures of baby Jesus, his mother Mary, and Mary's husband, Joseph, were all dressed in traditional Paiwan costumes.

According to the jury, the Taiwan exhibit was very delicate yet full of strong emotions. While representing the humble birth of Jesus, the work shows the infant Jesus with arms open as if to embrace the whole world, which sends a message of joy, the jury said.

This marks the first time that Taiwan has won a prize in the annual international exhibition, now in its 35th year. This year's foreign division was won by Chile, and the first runner-up was Hungary.

The exhibits were made from a variety of materials, including pasta, wood, stone, grass, paper, ceramics, clay and cloth.

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