An ancient icon was recently found in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, which is built over the site thought to be the birthplace of Christ.
According to Christian Today, the icon, which is made of brass, silver, shells, and stones has “great religious and historical value.” It was found about two months ago.
The Church of the Nativity has been under an ongoing process of renovation after being neglected for years. It was built in the fourth century at the request of the Emperor Constantine, who declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, and his mother, Helena.
The restoration of the church is being funded by the Palestinian Authority and others, and has already cost $8 million. Another $11 is needed to complete the project.
The icon, although restored, is not yet ready for viewing by the public, according to Ziad al-Bandak, a Palestinian presidential advisor for Christian Affairs.
“The removal of centuries of dust has left mosaics sparkling in the sunlight filtering through brand new windows. Structural repairs on the fragile rooftop and windows have been completed and artistic treasures have been returned to their delicate elegance,” said Bandak.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: February 22, 2016