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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