Holy Sepulcher Edicule, Restored but Now in Danger of Collapse
The iron cage holding together the edicule built over the traditional tomb of Jesus has been removed in time for the Easter celebrations, but now scientists are warning that the structure is in danger of collapsing because the foundation is built on rubble.
The team that led the recent restoration work said the foundations are so shaky that they could suddenly give way.
'When it fails, the failure will not be a slow process, but catastrophic,' Antonia Moropoulou, from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), told National Geographic.
Parts of the Edicule rest on steep and sloping bedrock was once the site of an ancient quarry, and the foundation mortar of the tomb has crumbled after decades of moisture exposure.
The survey also pinpointed secret tunnels and channels that run directly beneath the Edicule.
But the researchers are now calling for another $6.5million (£5.2million) to fix the fractured foundations surrounding the Edicule.
They plan to remove the precarious stone paving surrounding the Edicule and excavate the 1,000-foot site underneath to install new sewage and rainwater drainage.
The article includes more of the history of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and many great photos from today’s unveiling.