Mosaic of Holy Family in Egypt shines on facade of Amsterdam Coptic church

06-05-2019 10:34 PM

Nader Shukry

A mosaic depicting the Holy Family—the Child Jesus, St Mary and St Joseph—in Egypt now graces the facade of the Coptic Orthodox church of the Virgin Mary in Amsterdam, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of The Netherlands.

The mosaic mural, the work of Egyptian iconographer Adel Nassief, was unveiled by the Bishop, Anba Arseny, Sunday 5 May, in an event attended by a number of clergy and a large congregation.

The mural is in modern Coptic style, and depicts the Holy Family aboard a pharaonic boat in the Nile. On the left, a young woman in ancient Egyptian dress welcomes them holding the Ankh—the key of life in ancient Egypt. The Nile is full of fish which represent the faithful. The icon also shows an angel that greets the Holy Family, representing Divine protection. Around the Holy Family, the Egyptian landscape is represented in the Nile, palms, and the pyramids.

Adel Nassief, born in Damanhour, Egypt, in 1962, is a Coptic painter specialising in Coptic paintings and icons, also in murals in fresco and mosaics. His works grace the external wall of a Coptic church in Paris and in Coptic churches in Damanhour and Alexandria. He drew the illustrations in the book First Christmas by Alastair Macdonald. His works are also on display at the museum of modern art in Cairo.

The story of Christmas

The Holy Family in Egypt

Watani International

6 May 2019

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