(Terrasanctablog) “While the Middle East is on fire, in one place or another churches burn and mosques are destroyed, we here are doing the opposite. Muslims and Christians are acting together to preserve a historic patrimony, but also a place of faith for millions of believers throughout the world.”
These are the words of Fra Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land as described a renovation process to begin at the Basilica of the Nativity of Bethlehem (Church of the Nativity). Muslims and Christians acting together to preserve a historic Christian patrimony.
The Custos of the Holy Land, Fra Pierbattista Pizzaballa, has added his signature alongside those of the Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, and representatives of the Greek Orthodox and Apostolic Armenian Churches to a document entrusting the restoration of the skeleton and windows of the Basilica of the Nativity of Bethlehem to the Italian company Piacenti.
Did you know, by the way, that:
Studies of the roof performed in 2010 by IVALSA (the Institute for the Evaluation of Arboreal Species of the Italian National Research Council, CNR) revealed that five different types of wood constitute the present structure.
The oldest, cedar beams, date from the sixth and seventh centuries, but also present are oak, which does grow in the Middle East, and larch, which is absent from the region. Dendrochronological analysis dates these trees to the beginning of the 15th century, coming from the eastern Italian Alps. This analysis is confirmed by the archives that explain how in the 15th century the Republic of Venice, whose sovereignty then extended to the eastern Alps, had contributed the wood necessary for the restoration of the church.