A big project which had to combine many different science disciplines and Christian faith, was completed with great success and became an interactive, digital exhibition, which virtually transports the monument to the people. The monument is the Sacred Canopy of the Holy Sepulchre and the forces joined are the donors, the scientific personnel and the Christian communities who agreed and worked feverishly for the restoration of the expanding problems of the Sacred Canopy, mainly due to the multitude of visitors.

 

The scientific group of the restoration

 The project, which was launched in May 2016 and was completed in March 2017, used a combination of technological innovation and scientific expertise, organization and cooperation. The Greek inter-disciplinary team of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) consisted of Professor Antonia Moropoulou, School of Chemical Engineers, Professor Emeritus Emmanuel Korres, School of Architecture, Professor Konstantinos Spirakos, School of Rural and Surveying Engineering, Assistant Professor Charalampos Mouzakis, School of Civil Engineering, while during the nine months that the restoration work was in progress, the site remained open for guests.

 

The restoration of the monument

 The metal framework supporting the monument, that was built about two centuries ago, at the beginning of 19th century, at the site which was considered the burial site of Jesus, was loose for many decades, while the marble slabs of the Holy Sepulchre were also loose and had suffered damages, mainly due to the large number of visitors and pilgrims. Restoration works were carried out about 70 years ago by British scientists, who have added steel support for the distortion which has developing at the Sacred Canopy and was becoming a “threat”. In the current restoration the marble slabs have been replaced or restored, while the framework which was supporting them has been reinforced. The project is co-financed by the three Christian communities that "coexist" at the monument, the Greek Orthodox, the Franciscan and the Armenian, from public and private sources.

 

The exhibition

 The exhibition "Tomb of Christ: The Holy Sepulchre Experience" which is housed at the National Geographic Museum in Washington from November 15, records (in video) the restoration works of the Sacred Canopy. The exhibition is interactive and with the use of new technology it tries to virtually transport the visitor at the site, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, see the extensive work and in particular feel the religious power of the site and the importance of the monument for hundreds of thousands of people. The exhibition is expected to come to Greece and be hosted at the Byzantine and Christian Museum in the spring of 2018 and the title will be "Holy Tomb - The monument and the restoration project of the Sacred Canopy by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)”.