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Bolivian artist opens a "Baby Jesus Clinic"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 01:26

Dec. 18 - Bolivian artist specialises in restoring baby Jesus figurines. Sharon Reich reports.

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A Bolivian art restorer is spreading Christmas joy by repairing damaged baby Jesus figurines in the La Paz shop he calls the "Baby Jesus Clinic". People from all over the country send their damaged figurines to Rafael Gonzales. Many of the tiny statues have been passed down through families-- and some of the pieces are more than 300 years old. SOUNDBITE: Art restorer Rafael Gonzales saying (Spanish) : "We use very durable material and we are bettering it in this way. We never use plaster for anything and the material we use allows us to complete the work and it also guarantees that our clients can pass the piece on from generation to generation." The figurines he fixes are made of different materials including wood, mother-of-pearl, painted glass and ceramics. Sometimes the artist even takes some creative license and adds flourishes to the statues for extra sparkle. Word of his work is spreading -- and this figurine was sent to him from Peru. SOUNDBITE: Art restorer Rafael Gonzales saying (Spanish) : "To repair this Cusqueno baby (the Peruvian made baby Jesus) we had to give him new hands and eyes. We gave him crystal eyes and we made him open his mouth, we gave him a tongue and then teeth. We cut the two little bunnies from mother of pearl. Then we attached the eyelashes. So, this baby who was normal, is now a gem. A huge change has been done to this baby." Looks like this baby will be heading home and to a nativity scene just in time for Christmas Day.

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Bolivian artist opens a "Baby Jesus Clinic"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 01:26