An ancient tomb in Jerusalem which many Christians believe to be Jesus’s tomb, is set to be renovated after more than 200 years.
Experts have begun the process of restoring the Holy Sepulcher believed to be Jesus’s burial and resurrection site in Jerusalem, aimed at reinforcing and conserving the structure.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, and built in 325 A.D. by the Roman Emperor Constantine is considered to be one of the holiest for Christians.
The remodeling work has been reportedly delayed due to rivalry between the three denominations that run the church. Work was last conducted in 1810 after a fire.
But clerics from the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian churches have put aside their differences, recognizing the need to begin repairs, after the Israeli authorities briefly closed the church in 2015 due to safety fears.
The 4th century church is run by the three separate religious groups which each manages its own interpretive experience within the site.
Each of the denominations is putting up $3.3 million for the renovations, which are expected to take between eight and 12 months, during which time the site will remain open to tourists. King Abdullah of Jordan has also made a personal donation to the renovations.
The work will be primarily focused on the Edicule, which is the ancient chamber standing above the area where Jesus’s body is believed to have been anointed, wrapped in cloth and buried before his resurrection.
Scientific coordinator for the repair project, Antonia Moropoulou said the tomb was stable, but after many years of water exposure, humidity and candle smoke, it has begun to warp, but was fundamentally stable. Moropoulou also said it needed to be earthquake-proofed.