Mideast: Italian Piacenti Spa to restore Nativity Church

Contract signed today to repair rain damage in ancient basilica

26 August, 17:58

    (ANSAmed) - BETHLEHEM (WEST BANK), AUGUST 26 - Italian company Piacenti Spa on Monday signed a contract to restore parts of the Basilica of the Nativity, whose roof, walls, columns and mosaics have been damaged by rain.

    Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Holy Land Custodian Pierbattista Pizzaballa, high representatives of the Orthodox and Armenian Patriarchate, and company CEO Giammarco Piacenti were present at the signing.

    The contract, which Piacenti won out of 12 bidders, is the first phase of a wider, 25-million-dollar restoration project to bring the historic church, whose lead roofing hails from 1400, back to its original splendor. Piacenti's job will be to replace damaged parts of the roof and consolidate the rest of the structure.

    ''This is a particularly delicate intervention, because the function of the roof is to join the walls, through trusses, with an anti-seismic system anchored by chains,'' Piacenti explained.


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