Just after finishing the restoration of the aedicule over the tomb of Christ in Jerusalem, the team of experts that oversaw the project has warned the public that the basilica of the Holy Sepulcher that houses it could collapse.
According to the Greek archeologist Antonia Mariopoulou, scientific coordinator of the project, a structural collapse threatens the building. “This is not a slow process, it is a catastrophic event,” she explained to the monthly National Geographic, quoted by the press agency Fides on March 24, 2017.
The studies and surveys conducted during the restoration of the aedicule show that the entire monument, whose last restructuring was in the 19th century, seems to be largely built on an unsteady foundation: unstable remains of previous structures, and a basement full of galleries and canals were observed. The Greek team estimates the construction needed to the basilica safe again at least 6 million euros.
On March 18, a press release from the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land announced that the Holy See has made 500,000 dollars available as a contribution to this next phase of the Holy Sepulcher’s consolidation and restoration.
Sources: cath.ch/fides – DICI#353 April 14, 2017