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Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity getting much-needed facelift

The church was built 1,500 years ago. The roof hasn't been repaired for 150 years. But fixing it is more like archeology than carpentry.

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“After centuries of neglect, the ancient and dilapidated roof of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity will finally undergo renovation next year,” reports Bible History Daily, the journal of the Biblical Archeology Society, which says the roof was last repaired around the time of the U.S. Civil War.


“While the leaky roof long ago ruined many of the church’s priceless mosaics and paintings,” reports the journal, “of more immediate concern are the roof’s ancient wooden beams, which have begun to pose a danger to the more than 2 million

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tourists who visit the site each year. The renovation will be carried out and funded by the Palestinian Authority, which is hoping the basilica will soon be recognized and supported by UNESCO, the culture arm of the United Nations, as a world heritage site.”

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Rob Kerby
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