Jerusalem unveils to the public the most sacred monument in Christianity which was believed to be where Jesus was kept after his crucifixion. After nine months of renovation, the tomb will officially open at a ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre following a $4m grant for restoration.
About 50 Greek scientists of the National Technical University of Athens have completed the overhaul of the Edicule, the 18th-century shrine which encloses the tomb of Christ. The team took the stone slabs and fixed the interior features. They placed titanium bolts and mortar for stabilization as well as to have cleaned the Edicule from dust, candle soot, and bird droppings. A remodeling of the shrine's façade was also done.
The Guardian reported Bonnie Burnham from the World Monuments Fund as saying: "If the intervention hadn't happened now, there is a very great risk that there could have been a collapse. This is a complete transformation of the monument."
According to The Telegraph, the team entered the shrine and cut a portion of the marble slates for pilgrims to see the original stone wall of the burial cave. The marble slabs were cut and found to have dated during the late Crusade 14th century. Meanwhile, another older, gray plates beneath the marble stones were discovered to be around the 4th century, when Roman Emperor Constantine had the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built.
Overall, the Edicule which protects Jesus' tomb has been on a facelift four times. Before, the shrine has been placed with an iron cage ordered by a British governor in 1947. It has now been removed for the recent project.
The unveiling will take place in the presence of the two church leaders: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, head of the world's Orthodox Christians; and a representative of Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church.
The funding for the restoration project was donated by Mica Ertegun, the widow of Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, Jordan's King Abdullah II, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, and the church's own donation.
© 2023 Travelers Today. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.