Restoration work has begun on Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site traditionally considered by many Christians as the place where Jesus died and resurrected.
The focus on the restoration work is on the Edicule, which is a chamber within the church that houses Jesus’s tomb that was rebuilt in 1810 following a fire. Years of visitors and smoke from candles has weakened the structure, leading to the three Christian denominations that control the church—the Catholic Church, Greek Orthodox Church, and Armenian Church—to come a rare agreement on restoration work.
“Nobody envies this responsibility and challenge,” said Antonia Moropolou, an architect at the National Technical University of Athens, which is supervising the renovation, the Associated Press reported. “Because, it is a challenge to work here in this ambient of an open monument visited by thousands of people daily.”
The project is expected to cost about $3.3 million, with each church contributing funds in addition to a personal donation from Jordan’s King Abdullah.