The tomb where Jesus is said to have been buried before his resurrection in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre is to undergo major restoration, church officials say.
The work could begin soon after Orthodox Easter on May 1. Western Christians mark Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, this coming Sunday.
The restoration, entrusted to a Greek team, is expected to be completed in early 2017 and the site will remain open to visitors in the meantime.
The shrine, several meters tall and wide standing under the church’s dome, has for decades been held together by a metal frame.
Its marble slabs have been weakened over the years in part by daily visits by thousands of pilgrims and tourists.
It will be painstakingly dismantled and rebuilt during eight months of restoration work, says the Custody of the Holy Land, which oversees Roman Catholic properties in the area.