King Abdullah II of Jordan has embarked upon a plan to renovate the “supposed” site of Jesus’ Tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
King Abdullah II who is known for his inter-religious harmony promoting activities, is planning to refurbish the site at his own personal expense. For this purpose a “Makruma,” (Royal Benefaction,) was issue just recently. The renovation work is expected to begin in several weeks’ time.
At present the current monument, built of on this supposed site, dates back to 1810. Under this project, the monument will be rebuilt entirely. The slabs of marble will be removed. Moreover, a 12th-century Crusader shrine beneath the monument will be mended. The cracks which have appeared in the supposed rock-hewn tomb, over the years will be mended. Many believe that Jesus was buried in this tomb. The church or monument in question is located in the center of the Christian Quarter of the Old Jerusalem City, not very far from the Jaffa Gate.
After the announcement of the refurbishing of the site by King Abdullah, the head of the Jerusalem Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Theophilos III, extended gratefulness to the King. He also appreciated and praised his big-heartedness. The Patriarch further said that King Abdullah “has always been, and shall remain, the faithful Guardian and Custodian of the Christian and Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem.”
Theophilos, who officially enjoys the title of “Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine and Jordan,” continued to praise King Abdullah for his generosity and said that the king “embodies in deed, and not only in word, the shared living of Muslims and Christians all over the world and particularly in the Holy Land.”
According to a media report, this renovation project will be a challenging task. Even tough in terms of technicality, it will be a tricky business, “a far greater challenge was getting agreement over the need for the work.” The fact is that since 1853, the responsibility for the Holy Sepulchre was divided among six Churches. Previously, on the issue of painting a section of the central dome of the monument was settled among these six Churches in 1995, after 17 years of debate.
In another instance, a dispute arose when it could not be decided whose responsibility was it to move a wood ladder which had propped up against one of the exterior windows of the monument. Because of this dispute it could not be moved since 1757. Disputes of this kind have also led to many fistfights.