02 July 2012, 10:24
Bethlehem church added to UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger
St. Petersburg, July 2, Interfax - The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Committee backed on Friday Palestine's bid to add the Church of the Nativity to the List of World Heritage in Danger.
"In 2002, this place, where Jesus Christ was born, was attacked by the Israeli army. We wanted to add it to the list so as to start preserving the site as soon as possible," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki told reporters on Friday.
The church, which is more than 2,000 years old, is in need of constant repair, the building's roof is leaking, he said.
"The military situation is so dangerous that the building could collapse," the minister said.
I could not imagine that there would be countries that would vote against the Palestinian bid, Al Maliki said. "Six countries dared to vote against adding the site to the List. We do not understand what such people are guided by. What do they have against the Palestinian people?!" he said.
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (the Basilica of the Nativity) is a Christian church built in 330s AD. Legend has it that it was built above the place of birth of Jesus Christ. Along with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, it is one of the main Christian churches in the Holy Land.
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