Armenian Jerusalem
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
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What is happening behind the fences around the tomb? For   over   a   month   now,   tall   signs   have   been   set   up   all   around   Jesus’   tomb.   Terresainte.net,   the   Custody’s   website   dedicated to its bimonthly magazine, took a look behind the barriers.?? (Jerusalem   /   Mab-NH)   -   The   ongoing   work   on   the   empty   tomb   of   Jesus   is   not   discouraging   pilgrims   and   tourists.   Despite   the decor, they still manage to take souvenir photos in front of the shrine. Nonetheless, its appearance has very little for it to attract people’s attention. The   shrine’s   façade   is   as   naked   as   the   first   days   of   its   construction:   no   more   icons,   oil   lamps   or   tables.   The   only   thing   that remains   is   the   image   of   the   Holy   Spirit   hovering   above   the   door   that   is   hidden   by   the   iron   cage   designed   to   protect   pilgrims. That is still there, at least! While   explaining   the   work,   Professor   Maropoulo   promised   that   the   shrine   would   remain   accessible   and   the   promise   was   kept. All   of   the   services   are   taking   place,   and   during   the   day   pilgrims   can   still   enter   the   tomb,   unless   they   prefer   to   enter   the small Coptic Chapel to the other side of the entrance. ? And   the   choices   stop   there   because   the   building,   which   has   been   under   restoration   since   May   8   is   now   surrounded   by   fences that are two meters high. But   Terresainte.net    has    been    following    the    work    closely    and    the    partner    churches--Greek    Orthodox,    Franciscans    and Armenians--have been helping to welcome pilgrims. On   the   southern   façade,   where   pilgrims   were   used   to   lighting   candles,   the   reinforcing   steel   installed   by   the   British   was reinforced   at   its   base.   And   scaffolding   covers   the   whole   area.   There   is   so   little   to   see   now   hardly   anyone   ever   goes   on   it anymore. The   most   important   work   is   concentrated   on   the   northern   façade.   The   Ottoman   Baroque   architecture   was   designed   on   the front   three   windows   that   had   been   walled   up.   Now   they   no   longer   are.   The   marble   slabs   that   closed   them   have   been removed    revealing    some    masonry.    Photographic    studies    reveal    that    the    wall    has    undergone    at    least    two    periods    of construction,   judging   by   the   differences   between   the   stones   and   their   arrangement   between   them. As   for   the   date,   there   is not yet any information that has been obtained by specialists and archaeologists. This   vision,   which   was   made   possible   for   the   first   time   206   years   after   the   construction   of   the   shrine,   corroborates   what Martin   Biddle   said   in   his   book   The   Tomb   of   Christ:   the   building   has   layers   to   it,   like   an   onion:   one   historical   layer   on   top   of another   and   the   last   one   that   covers   the   whole   thing.   Scientific   studies,   surveys   and   lasers   had   prepared   the   teams   that   are calmly carrying on with the work, which is very accurately revealing everything that appears. Most   often,   the   noisiest   work,   complete   with   drills   and   mallets,   takes   place   at   night   but   this   is   not   always   the   case,   as   can be observed in this video. ?Video : © Nizar Halloun/TSM? To   more   easily   move   their   mobile   scaffolding,   temporary   tiling   was   laid   around   the   grave.   A   tarp   covers   the   pink   and   black slabs of the rotunda, on which the workers have placed sand before placing heavy gray slabs. All   of   the   equipment   that   has   been   disassembled   is   taken   away   to   the   Franciscan   gallery   with   a   hoist   installed   near   the arches   of   the   Virgin.   That   is   the   elevated   area   where   the   laboratory   was   set   up.   It   is   the   place   where   the   workers   can examine the materials, take measurements, make inventories and clean them. During the summer, we will continue our inexperienced and curious observations.