Jordan’s King Abdullah has announced that he will personally fund the restoration of Christ’s Tomb, which is located inside of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem.
“This is excellent news, news of a highly symbolic character, since the Holy Sepulchre is the most sacred place for Christians of all confessions,” said Latin Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem Bishop William Shomali, Vatican Radio reported.
“This decision shows the kindness of the King towards Christians and his constant concern to preserve the heritage of Christianity, including his role as guarantor of the Holy Places, Christian and Muslim, Jerusalem, according to the Wadi Araba agreement,” added Shomali.
According to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the aedicule, which is the traditional place of burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, will be the site of the restoration. The aedicule was originally constructed in the early 19th century by the Greek Orthodox community and has remained untouched since 1947, when the ruling British Mandate put in place steel support beams as part of a restoration project that never took place.
The Latin Patriarchate said that restoration work was needed because reports revealed grave structural problems due to moisture from the “condensation of the breath of visitors” and oxidation from candle smoke.
Abdullah’s funding will be disbursed to a Greek restoration team led by Professor Antonia Moropoulou of the National Technical University of Athens.