19 February 2014, 16:54
Renovation of Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem will cost 20 million
Jerusalem, February 19, Interfax - Italian specialists are working on renovating the roof and stained-glass panels of the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, which is located over the cave where, according to the legend, Christ was born.
The work may take from four to five years. The total cost of the renovation is estimated at $20 million. The committee on the renovation of the church is headed by Ziyad al-Bandak, an adviser to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Christians' affairs, the press service for the Jerusalem department of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society has reported.
"Our task is save everything that can be saved, for example, the main pylons of the central nave. We believe 80-90% of the roof can be restored," Marcello Piacenti of Italy, project manager on the renovation of the roof of the basilica, said.
The rest of the timber (300-400-year-old timber of the same color and density as the existing beams) has already been delivered from Italy. The beams will be coated with water-repellent and anti-fungal substances and will be packed in waterproof felt, and waterproof felt will also be put between the roof leaves and wooden structures to protect them from water and heat.
The first stage of the renovation of the roof should be completed by September. Crusade-era mosaic, medieval frescos, external facades, and other parts of the basilica will then be renovated.
Ziyad al-Bandak said the cost of the roof renovation is covered by Palestinian sources by more than 50%. The rest is covered by donations from the Vatican, Hungary, France, Greece, and Russia.
Russia is actively involvement in the development of Bethlehem. In 2012, the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society built a culture center, where the Russian Science and Culture Center is now located. In March 2013, Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society Director Sergey Stepashin took part in the ceremony for laying down the foundation of a school, whose construction is financed by Russia and where the Russian language will be taught. The school will open its doors to students this year.
Not far from these facilities, private Russian investors are building three buildings of a culture and business center with large sports grounds. The street where this center is located was named after Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia also plans to finance the historical square around the Basilica of the Nativity.
The basilica is the main tourist attraction of Palestine. It is visited by some two million people every year. In June 2012, the basilica was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It was built in the 4th century on the orders of Roman Emperor Constantine and was restored after burning down in a fire in the 6th century.
- Russia, U.S. must melt ice in relationship, overcome global crises - Patriarch Kirill 21 November 2014, 19:02
- At least 50 churches were damaged in military action in Ukraine - Russian expert 21 November 2014, 18:20
- Uniates following UOC hierarchs distanced from memorandum for the Local Church 21 November 2014, 16:03
- Moscow wants Islamic world disagreements resolved - Russian foreign minister 21 November 2014, 12:14
- Putin, patriarch unveil monument to Alexander I outside Kremlin 21 November 2014, 10:02
- Jerusalem synagogue attack extreme, Russia must prevent such crimes - Putin 20 November 2014, 17:53
- DNR soldiers venerate St. George relics 20 November 2014, 14:30
- Patriarch Kirill speaks on divorce statistics 19 November 2014, 15:19
- Orthodox youth should be modern: no dress-codes and 'ethnographic ghetto' is needed 19 November 2014, 13:56
- Patriarch Kirill urges young people not to substitute real communication with virtual 19 November 2014, 13:37
- Patriarch Kirill recommends to take up the cross, not to 'relax and enjoy' 19 November 2014, 12:54
- Moscow denounces deadly attack on Jerusalem synagogue - Foreign Ministry 19 November 2014, 10:01
- Religions play key role in maintaining peace and stability - Azeri leader 18 November 2014, 11:26
- Residents in south Moscow voluntarily refuse parking lots to build a church 17 November 2014, 17:59
- Wars in Muslim countries stem from poverty, lack of education - leader of CIS' only legal Islamic party 17 November 2014, 12:07
- Russian patriarch urges Serbs to cherish brotherly unity with Russian people 17 November 2014, 11:01
- Russian, Serbian patriarchs sanctify monument to Nicholas II in Belgrade 17 November 2014, 10:55
- Patriarch Kirill calls to stop violations of rights, liberties of Serbian population of Kosovo 17 November 2014, 10:17
- Patriarch Kirill criticizes attempts to rewrite history of Serbia, former USSR 17 November 2014, 10:15
- Serbian-Russian friendship is based on spiritual closeness, not amount of gas sold - Serbian president 17 November 2014, 10:02
- Procession with cross for peace marches in Ukraine 14 November 2014, 19:59
- Israel blames Palestine for exacerbation of situation with Temple Mount in Jerusalem 14 November 2014, 18:16
- Patriarch Kirill calls on people of Serbia to work together on renewing Europe 14 November 2014, 17:55
- Hundreds of people welcome Patriarch Kirill in Belgrade 14 November 2014, 17:49
- Orthodox world will never recognize Ukrainian schismatics - the Ukrainian Orthodox Church 14 November 2014, 10:08
- IS leader Omar Ash-Shishani has been killed - Kadyrov 13 November 2014, 15:54
- UOC Primate awards Interfax-Religion editor-in-chief 13 November 2014, 14:37
- Russians trust president, church, army - poll 13 November 2014, 14:36
- Russian Orthodox Church: Christian suffering in Middle East caused by West indifference 12 November 2014, 17:19
- Patriarch Kirill to visit Serbia 12 November 2014, 14:28