In Jerusalem, work has been initiated to save the most holy place in the Christian faith – the tomb of Christ. The job will not be a simple one either but a major restoration project that will involve repairing the tomb of Jesus with titanium bolts.
— NDTV (@ndtv) June 21, 2016
The Washington Post shares details about the process that will be involved in achieving this heavy feat.
“Over the next nine months, a team of Greek conservationists will restore the collapsing chapel built above and around the burial cave where the faithful believe that Jesus was buried and rose from the dead after the Crucifixion.To fix the chapel, which is buckling under its own weight, the crew will have to enter a few square meters of the ruins of the first-century tomb.”
This section is called the Holy Rock and is a shrine to Christendom. Workers will have to clean centuries of candle soot that remains from votive lamps and they will ensure the marble which is imported is stable and anchored in place. Following this, they will add 21st-century mortar to the masonry which was added in the 12th century, the time of the Crusaders.
Once the chapel is stabilized, workers will then lift the slab that has been knelt on by millions to show gratitude to their savior and will look inside the tomb for the first time in more than 200 years, as the Sydney Morning Herald shares. The ruins are affected due to the chapels structural issues.
The repair of the chapel and the tomb which lies beneath it reportedly should have been attended to decades ago. Decisions were not easily made between the Christian communities that now oversee the site. Finally, agreements have been met and work has been slated to begin.
The workers hired for the fascinating task have also been involved in repairing the Acropolis in Athens. They admit that they are unsure as to what they may find while working on the holy site.
Workers to enter ‘Jesus tomb’ for first time in 200 years https://t.co/xEMaf8SVhg
— The Age (@theage) June 21, 2016
A leader for the team from the National Technical Univerisity in Athens who will work on the project, Antonia Moropoulou, shares about what they expect from the work.
“This is the most alive place we have ever worked. We will see what we see.”
Patriarch Theophilos III, of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, spoke about the feeling that one expects to accompany them when entering the site.
“There is no doubt that there is some kind of energy. I don’t want to describe it, but some kind of energy that emanates from this place.”
The team of conservationists has probed the chapel and tomb with radar and laser scanners to identify the structural issues. Additionally, they are flying drones with cameras indoors, above the holy site, which could be compared to flying drones around the Vatican, and therefore is not an easy task.
Using these tactics has allowed them to find a fracture in the rock of the tomb. Until this day, that information was unknown. As the publication shares, “They believe that the crack is the result of stresses put upon it by the columns supporting a cupola above. Still. No modern scientist has ever looked inside.”
Reasons for the fracture going undetected and no modern scientists having ever looked inside is all due to the protective clerics and the tradition that has been followed over centuries, which disallowed this. The site is deemed the most holy of the entire faith and has been a place for pilgrims to visit, for people to demonstrate their faith and keep the mystery about the site alive. This meant no digging allowed and no probing allowed.
Who knows what they will find.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]