Restoration of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre moves ahead

Visitors stand near the newly restored Edicule, the ancient structure housing the tomb, which according to Christian belief is where Jesus’s body was anointed and buried, seen at the completion of months of restoration works, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Originally published in Christian Today

Plans are moving forward for a multi-million rand restoration of the Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre that will involve the three major churches that have guardianship over the site.

The Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Armenian churches have agreed to the plans for the renovation for the revered site traditionally believed by Christians to be the place where Jesus was crucified, buried and later resurrected from the dead.

Leaders of the three churches announced this week that a new project will restore parts of the foundation and flooring of the holy site.

Control of the Holy Sepulchre belongs to the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land.

The site has been deemed at risk for some time and undergone several phases of restoration in recent years.

In 2016, 3.5 million euros (R57m) was spent to restore the aedicule, a 19th century structure within the church traditionally believed to house Christ’s tomb.

The foundation of the structure was perilously unstable and it had been feared that it could even collapse.

The restoration project in 2016 was overseen by a Greek team. The Press Assocation reports that the upcoming phase will involve two Italian institutions.

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