5

THE NATIVITY
REBORN

Renovating the Basilica,
2013-2020

The fifth section gives space to the rebirth of the basilica, a literal rebirth thanks to the complex renovations that were started in 2013 by the Italian company Piacenti SpA in collaboration with the Palestinian Presidential Committee for the Restoration of the Nativity Church.

An experience of profound knowledge and spirituality was bound to change the concept of restoration, as a millenarian history of devotion has changed and will continue to change the destiny of Bethlehem and of Palestine.

The Presidantial Committee for the Restoration of the Church of the Nativity

Ziad Albandak- Chairman (December 2008 until present)
Marwan Abed Alhamid (December 2008 until present)
Varsen Aghabekian (December 2008 until present)
Nazmi Al Jubeh (December 2008 until present)
Khouloud Daibes (December 2008 until present)
Claudette Habesch (December 2008 until present)
Nabil Kassis (December 2008 until present)
Issa Kassissieh (December 2008 until present)
Anton Salman (The present Mayor of Bethlehem City, who replaced in June 2017 the former Mayor)
Vera Baboun (Former Mayor of Bethlehem City – February 2014 until June 2017)

The international consortium responsible to prepare the study (Survey, documentation, study, assessment and recommendation) for the Church before the restoration site works

Prof. Claudio Alessandri (Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Università di Ferrara – Italy)
CFR (Consorzio Ferrara Ricerche, – Ferrara – Italy)
SCDS Pro Inc. (Laser scanning survey – Canada),
LAP&T – LAAUM (historical and archaeological analysis – University of Siena – Italy),
Benecon (analysis of masonry structures – II University of Naples – Italy),
CNR Ivalsa (analysis of the roof structures – Florence – Italy),
UNIFE (structural analysis – University of Ferrara – Italy),
SSBAP (analyses of all decorated surfaces – University of Rome “La Sapienza”),
CDG, Community Development Group (local partner- Bethlehem – Palestine).

Review of the final report & tender preparation

ARUP – England
Consolidated Contractors Company “CCC”– Palestine

Implementation stage:

PIACENTI S.P.A. – MAIN CONTRACTOR / ITALY:
AL MAHER – SUBCONTRACTOR / PALESTINE
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GROUP “CDG” – CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND SUPERVISION / PALESTINE

“I have been told that in the course of the restoration works in Bethlehem, on one of the walls of the nave a seventh angel in mosaic has come to light, forming with the other six a sort of procession towards the place commemorating the mystery of the birth of the Word made flesh. This can lead us to reflect on how the face of our ecclesial communities can also be covered by “incrustations” as a result of various problems and sins. Yet your work must unfailingly be guided by the certainty that, beneath material and moral incrustations, and the tears and bloodshed caused by war, violence and persecution, beneath this apparently impenetrable cover there is a radiant face like that of the angel in the mosaic. All of you, with your projects and your activities, are part of a “restoration” that will enable the face of the Church to reflect visibly the light of Christ the Word Incarnate.”

Pope Francis, 16 June 2016