Researchers put out a warning stating that the ‘Tomb of Jesus’ in Jerusalem is in danger of a catastrophic collapse, as the building is built on unsteady foundation, with hidden channels and structures making it difficult to fix.
The Edicule, a shrine that tradition says houses the cave where Jesus was buried and rose to heaven recently underwent an almost $4 million restoration over the years and was actually scheduled to be debuted to the public today.
However, researchers using special cameras have found that the Edicule stands on an ancient site which is on top of the rubble of more ancient sites, making its future very shaky.
The Daily Mail reports:
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.
They recent survey undertaken by the researchers has exposed new risks to the stability of the 3,000-square-foot (914-square-metre) site.
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.
An eight-foot-deep (2.4m) trench dug just south of the shrine in the 1960s sits just beneath a slab of concrete where visitors will today queue to catch a glimpse of the newly restored holy site.
The news comes as religious leaders in traditional robes today address the ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is home to the Edicule.
They stood in front of the ornate edicule surrounding the tomb, its onion-shaped dome above, as hymns were sung.
Dignitaries including Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, considered the spiritual head of Orthodox church leaders, are in attendance at the ceremony.