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Newly restored tomb of Christ may collapse

In just a few weeks Christians across the world will celebrate the resurrection of Christ, and the miracle of the empty tomb.
However, the holy site venerated as Christ’s tomb is standing on rocky ground, and may be on the brink of collapse.
The team working on restoring the foundations of Christ’s tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre say the structure is at ‘very real risk’ of collapse, according to National Geographic.
A group from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), has been working on restoring the holy site.
‘When it fails, the failure will not be a slow process, but catastrophic,’ said Antonia Moropoulou, NTUA’s chief scientific supervisor.
The 19th century structure traditionally believed to contain Christ’s tomb is called the Aedicule (meaning ‘little house’). Contained within Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the tomb has been venerated by Christians since the 4th century and millions visit it every year.
The Aedicule is now believed to be built on a dubious foundation, composed of crumbled remains of previous structures.
The site’s perilous integrity may be in part due to its rich history, having faced repeated destruction and restoration since its beginning with Emperor Constantine.
Using radar, robotic cameras and other technology scientists have undergone a thorough assessment of the Aedicule’s foundations.
In some areas foundational mortar has crumbled after long-term exposure to moisture through underground drainage channels. The dome of the rotunda surrounding the Aedicule is at risk too, some of its foundational pillars rest on more than four feet of rubble.
Control of the site belongs to the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, who in March 2016 signed an agreement to restore the shrine and its tomb. The subsequent restoration, which was celebrated yesterday, cost 3.5 million euros.

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