Naples Honours Beloved Maradona with Nativity Figurines

NAPLES has paid a seasonal homage to its beloved football hero Diego Maradona by dedicating this year’s Christmas figurine celebrations to the recently deceased star.

San Gregorio Armeno, the centre of Italy’s wildly popular figurine craft, is usually one of the southern city’s most popular Christmas tourist attractions. Figures ranging from Mary and Joseph to Elvis and Trump are sold by specialist workshops, which make up most businesses on the long, narrow street.

This year the Covid pandemic has reduced footfall, but during its reopening ceremony Maradona’s brother Hugo launched the Christmas season with a tribute to the footballer beloved by Neapolitans.

Figurines of the Argentinian legend are expected to be the year’s bestselling model, with Hugo Maradona saying ‘it is an honour’ to dedicate the Christmas season to his brother. Gabriele Casillo, president of the street’s figurine craftsmen, said ‘it was our duty’ to honour Diego Maradona. On behalf of Naples, he said ‘we had, we have, and will always have him in our hearts’.

Figurines depicting historical, cultural, and satirical characters are extremely popular in Italy and Spain, particularly during the Christmas season.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...