JERUSALEM — The tomb where Jesus is believed to have been buried in Jerusalem’s Old City has been unveiled again after months of delicate restoration work.
The monument, which includes a 19th-century ornate edicule or shrine surrounding the tomb, is a key part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The tomb was formally reopened on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by religious leaders and donors, following a nine-month-long and $4m renovation led by the church’s three main Christian denominations.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, high-ranking officials of different states, leaders of Christian churches, a number of believers attended the ceremony. Armenia’s delegation was led by Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian
The Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Roman Catholic denominations share custody of the church. Samuel Aghoyan, the superior of the Armenian Church at the Sepulchre which co-financed the project, said that after the renovation the edicule looked “like a brand new building”.
The work is not the end of plans to renovate the church. Aghoyan said they have “tentative” plans to fix the basement of the edicule as well as the “entire floor of the church”.
The Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Nourhan Manougian delivered a speech at the opening ceremony and thanked all governments, organizations and individuals for both moral and financial assistance in the restoration of the tomb.
The Patriarch asked to consider allowing the Armenian Apostolic Church to hold liturgies once a year in the tomb.
The legate of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiatsin read the address of Catholicos of All Armenians His Holiness Karekin II during the ceremony.