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.
- Two prosecuted following police van incident near Moscow mosque 30 September 2014, 16:10
- Seven female Islamists apprehended in Kyrgyzstan 30 September 2014, 12:50
- Parishioners of the Moscow Mosque of the Council of Mufti attacked the police bus 29 September 2014, 15:50
- Russia picks Zvyagintsev's Leviathan for Oscar 29 September 2014, 10:08
- Police raid St. Petersburg Scientology church as part of fraud probe 29 September 2014, 10:06
- Up to 50,000 militants fight for Islamic State - Patrushev 26 September 2014, 12:04
- Two jailed in Azerbaijan for plotting mosque bombing 26 September 2014, 11:49
- Ukrainian Army occupied a church in Donetsk and fires from it 26 September 2014, 10:20
- Putin praises Russian Jews' role in consolidating interfaith harmony 26 September 2014, 10:07
- Ban on gay propaganda among minors doesn't restrict sexual minorities' rights - Russian Constitutional Court 26 September 2014, 10:05
- Israel ready to extradite Russian priest Grozovsky - source (updated) 25 September 2014, 18:11
- Patriarch Kirill hopes to visit Latvia 25 September 2014, 15:40
- The Menorah memorial desecrated with swastika in Babiy Yar 25 September 2014, 14:49
- Patriarch Kirill denies being vehicle of Kremlin policy 25 September 2014, 09:57
- Dissenters take over Orthodox church in Rovno Region of Ukraine 24 September 2014, 14:35
- Over 20,000 Hasidics arrive in Uman to celebrate New Year 24 September 2014, 14:15
- Hasidic pilgrims not afraid of traveling to Ukraine - border guards 24 September 2014, 10:50
- Russian religious leaders send anniversary greetings to Interfax 23 September 2014, 15:04
- Israeli embassy in Russia confirms Grozovsky detention 22 September 2014, 12:45
- State sovereignty is more important than camembert and jamon, leader of Russia's Jewish community believes 22 September 2014, 10:17
- Moscow to host Quran intl recitation contest on September 20 19 September 2014, 15:14
- Cross set up in Belgrade to commemorate defenders of the city during the First World War 19 September 2014, 11:12
- Ukrainian Army shells Donetsk monastery 18 September 2014, 16:53
- Russia and Vatican to hold art exhibition on Biblical themes 18 September 2014, 10:10
- Sts Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow decorated with a Japanese symbol 18 September 2014, 10:01
- Released Lugansk priest claims pilot Savchenko suggested to divide them to organs 17 September 2014, 10:22
- Ukrainian bishop believes the country's authorities Satanic 16 September 2014, 12:15
- Two Hizb ut-Tahrir activists detained in Kyrgyzstan 16 September 2014, 11:42
- War against Islamic State promises benefit to Russia - religious expert 16 September 2014, 11:33
- The Ukrainian church official accuses the country's authorities in eliminating their own people 15 September 2014, 16:28