PARIS — Residents of a small French town are hoping to break a record for the world’s biggest Provencal nativity scene.

Craftsmen in Aubagne joined forces to create a 150-square-meter (1,615-square-feet) nativity village. It sprawls around the room replete with 3,500 terracotta figurines in scenes that include Mary and Joseph, and even a French post office, cinema and bar with people playing cards.

Aubagne figurine-maker Philippe Rish said Friday the pieces were made by a “large community of passionate people.”

The making of hand painted figurines, called “santons,” is a famous local tradition in the southern Provence region that dates back to the French Revolution.

Aubagne’s deputy mayor, Philippe Amy, said they hope Guinness World Records will register their feat before Christmas.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.