From: Mary H.
Sent: March 26, 2017
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: Is The Tomb of Jesus in danger of collapsing
by Juliana Rose Pignataro
The site believed to be the tomb of Jesus Christ is in danger of a catastrophic collapse, according to the scientific team that just completed its restoration. A group from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) recently finished the $3.3 billion restoration of the site in Jerusalem, but warned that without additional significant structural work to its foundation, the entire structure could cave in.
The restoration meant the tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City was finally opened to the public, but without adequate support, its future remains uncertain.
“When it fails, the failure will not be a slow process, but catastrophic,” Antonia Moropoulou, chief scientific supervisor at NTUA, told National Geographic Wednesday.
The structure sits on an unstable foundation of old debris and hollow tunnels, walked upon by the millions of people who visit each year, National Geographic reported. Underground radar revealed parts of the tomb rest on earlier buildings and steeply sloped rock, while other portions of the foundation have eroded from age and exposure.
Though there’s no way to be certain if the body of Christ actually rested at the spot in Jerusalem, the site has been honored as his tomb for nearly 2,000 years. It was covered in marble sometime in 1555, likely to prevent people from absconding with pieces of rock as souvenirs.
The restoration team reinforced portions of the walls and reinforced columns with titanium, among other tasks, but noted that much more work needed to be done in order to fully protect the structure. The NTUA proposed a multimillion dollar project that would take an estimated 10 months to ensure to the site becomes more stable and prevent its collapse.
“This work is a collective work,” Moropoulou said. “It doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to all humanity.”
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