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PM @tsipras_eu professor at the Polytechnic, the head of Jesus tomb's rock discovery team

Posted by moodhacker on December 11, 2016 at 12:35 AM

 Greek Conservation team open Jesus’ Tomb for the first time

“The Greek conservation group are the first, as far as we know, to actually open this,” Fredrik Hiebert, the archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society. told Live Science. “It’s pretty exceptional.”

Τhe original rock where Jesus Christ is traditionally believed to have been buried in Jerusalem has been exposed to the light of day for the first time in centuries.


According to the National Geographic report, which is also a partner in the project at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the original rock surface has been covered with marble slabs since at least 1555, and possibly longer.

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The Greeks had the isnpiration to look at the substructure


During a conservation project to shore up the shrine surrounding the tomb, a team from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece realized that they would need to access the substructure of the shrine to restore it, said Fredrik Hiebert, the archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.

"On October 26 we rolled back the slab of the Holy Sepulchre given that we were completing the phase of the injections and had to protect the Holy Rock.

Under the marble slab of Calfas Komninos, the famous architect that carried out the restoration of the tomb in 1810 (after the fire of 1808) we found another slab that was probably from the crusades - this is evidenced by the characteristic Crusaders cross that it bore.

Underneath we found the stone shelf on which the body of Jesus is thought to have been placed

."We opened a window so that the Holy Rock will always be visible to visitors.



The marble lid (on the left) was pulled off, revealing a partly broken gray slab of marble. Under that is the debris-covered limestone layer where Jesus; body was said to have been placed after he was crucified. Credit: Daniel Estrin by

the ongoing restration work

Moropoulou and the work crew were overcome with emotion during this stage of the restoration work, she u said.

“Of course everybody could feel the energy in this place, an energy coming from the holy rock, from the tomb of Christ, and an energy from the prayers and the hope that it is inspiring in the world around it,” she said.

The archaeologist says ground-penetrating radar tests found cave walls standing six feet high behind the walls of this shrine.


The restoration team has cut a hole into one of the marble encasings, so for the first time, pilgrims will be able to see the limestone wall of what’s revered as Jesus’ tomb.

“Over there to the left is the window we opened to the marble slab,” said Antonia Moropoulou, who oversees the Greek experts conducting the restoration work. “The holy rock is visible.”


Tsipras on the spot: he was truly Moropoulou student !

Tsipras has been Moropoulou student at the Polytechnik, as it was revealed when he visited  Jesus tomb during his trip to Israel.

Whilst in Jerusalem on Dec 8, Alexis Tsipras made an official visit to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theofilos and together they visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Even though the PM declares himself an Atheist and never makes his cross, as an engineer he showed extreme interest to the findings

Im an engineer, Tsipras stated to the media. "Im truly interested and Im really glad. It's a blessing "

Alexis Tsipras told Patriarch Theophilus "It is a historical project ," adding that "it is a blessing that is realised on your days,  but I'm very happy that we contributed as much as we could. And I'm very happy that the Polytechnic is being named as one of the leading scientific institutions of international potential dimension.

Works at the Jesus tomb started miraculously  also

It’s a miracle the restoration is taking place at all, the wrote, exxplaining that six Christian denominations share custody of this holiest of Christian spots. There are turf battles and it’s nearly impossible to reach a consensus on renovations


Three sects jointly manage the site: the Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church.


The three groups agreed in 1958 that conservation of the Edicule was necessary, but it’s taken nearly 50 years to agree on a method and to secure funding According to National Geographic, the project will cost more than $4 million.


Israeli police recently  briefly closed the building last year, because it was deemed unsafe. That is what got the Christian communities at the church to jointly approve the restoration. 

After the decision,  the restoration experts were only granted just 60 hours to work in the inner sanctum of Jesus’ tomb, Hiebert said — so the tomb could go back to being a place of prayer.

The Holy Edicule itself sits within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre or Church of the Resurrection, which is a famed pilgrimage site and working monastery.

It’s built directly over the cave where Jesus was said to be buried; another wing sits over the site where he is said to have been crucified.

“There was a moment in which you could see on the faces of the important people of the church, a certain happiness that this has actually happened,” Hiebert said of the conservation.

a crtical moment for the project

"Now we are in the final stages of the project, which are to reattach the marble and stone decorative plates that we removed in order to stably restore the Edicule, in a way that ensures the monument's integrity and the sustainability of the solution we provide.

Given that the cause of the Edicule's deformation remains: it is no longer the rain water that for years fell from the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre - the dome has today been sealed - but the waters rising from underground, from a complex that connects the entire church with underground canals," Moropoulou said.

She noted that there will have to be an excavation and some kind of intervention in the near future.

She also referred to the unique and deeply moving experience that the project provided for the Greek team, as well as the grave responsibility that they bore

."Next to the Holy Sepulchre, as part of the project, we have set up an interdisciplinary laboratory. We want the findings that we announce to be the property of the entire world"

" What makes us all so moved is that the Tomb of Christ is a living tomb. It sends forth a message of resurrection and hope and that is what has affected us and enabled us to work," she told ANA-MPA

the Patriarch's "God blessed" initiative

The interdisciplinary team's work on the tomb began in June this year, following an invitation from Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos to the NTUA. The Patriarch had first obtained the agreement of the other two religious communities that share in the site's management, the Franciscan order and the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem.

The team is led by Moropoulou, a chemist and includes architecture professor Manolis Korres, civil engineering professor Constantinos Spyrakos and land surveyor Andreas Georgopoulos.

The team had presented its plans in January 2016 in Jerusalem, in the presence of the prime minister, and then in February to the leaders of the three religious communities responsible for the church, as well as to an audience in Athens in March. The restoration work is scheduled to finish in March 2017. 


According to Washington Post, the project “is the A to Z" of restoration projects.

Categories: Greece Cultural Heritage, Greek to me Holistic , Best of Greece

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