According to news agency iMedia, on March 1, 2017, the Holy See announced its intention of making “a substantial donation” towards restoration work being done on the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
The restoration of the latter began in 2013 and has involved the cooperation of three religious communities—the Franciscan Guardians of the Holy Land, the Greek Orthodox, and the Armenians—who have specific rights and properties established in the status quo set up in the 19th century under the Ottoman Empire.
The work on the aedicule of the Holy Sepulchre began on May 8, 2013. The restoration plans will cost 3.3 million dollars and are supported by the Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Apostolic Armenian Church. After nine months, the work is nearly complete. The Franciscan Guardians of the Holy Land told iMedia the scaffolding was down and the steel beams, set in place in 1947 to hold up the structure following the earthquake of 1927, have been taken away.
According to news agency Fides on March 3, 2017, an “ecumenical celebration” is to mark the end of the restoration work on March 22. Ten more months and another six million euros will be needed to deal with the other problems threatening the entire construction of the Holy Sepulchre, chief among them the humidity.
(Sources: cath.ch – iMedia – Fides – DICI no. 351, 17/03/17)