The site in Jerusalem where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected will be fully restored, church officials announced on Wednesday. Renovations of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre will begin around May 1. A team of Greek restorers will complete the project by early 2017, reports the Times of Israel.
A major site of Christian pilgrimage -- thought to be the location of Jesus of Nazareth's crucifixion, known as "Calvary," and his tomb -- the church will remain open during the 8-month restoration. Deteriorating parts will be replaced or reinforced and slabs of marble will be cleaned, as needed.
The 19th century Aedicule, a shrine under the church's dome constructed over the cave site where Jesus is thought to have been buried, will be carefully overhauled, according to a statement by the Custody of the Holy Land, which oversees Roman Catholic properties in the area.
Three main Christian denominations of the Holy Sepulchre — Greek Orthodox, Franciscans and Armenians — will fund the project along with public and private donors.