The burial tomb of Jesus has been reopened to the public following a lengthy restoration. A Greek team has renovated the Edicule, a small shrine covering the slab of stone where Jesus’ body was placed. In the process, they discovered a surprise.
Christ’s tomb in Jerusalem has completed renovation. The Christian shrine rests within one of the oldest churches in Christendom, established in the 4th century AD, during the reign of Constantine.
The shrine is housed in a small building called the Edicule, within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The original church was destroyed by warfare but rebuilt in the 12th century. The Edicule was erected in the 18th century to cover the slab of stone where Jesus’ body was laid.
Curiously, the actual stone has long been covered with slabs of marble from earlier times. When the top slab was removed, workers were astonished to discover a slab of white rose marble placed by the crusaders in the 14th century. Next, workers removed the crusader slab and found a gray marble slab placed over the rock in the 4th century during the reign of Constantine.
The surprising discovery reveals that the site was renovated in medieval and ancient times as well.
While restoring the structure, the team removed candle soot and reinforced its masonry. An unsightly iron fence designed to keep the public at bay has been removed.
The structure was restored by a team of Greek experts. Their work was financed by a $1.4 million donation from the widow of the founder of Atlantic Records, and donations from Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Small, private donations provided the rest of the funds needed to renovate the tomb.