UNESCO and ATS pro Terra Sancta joined together to safeguard the cultural patrimony of the Old City of Jerusalem

To protect and safeguard the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem: this is the objective of the program initiated by ATS pro Terra Sancta, the NGO of the Custody of the Holy Land, in collaboration with the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture.

The project, approved on 16 November 2010, provides for the restoration and recovery of a number of areas in the Old City of Jerusalem within the framework of the UNESCO “Action Plan for the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem”, with financial support from the Italian Government (Italian Fund-in-Trust cooperation at UNESCO). The plan to preserve and protect the cultural, historical and artistic heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem provides in particular for the renovation of the facades of the “Al Saha” compound, the training of eight new workers and two site supervisors coming from East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the restoration of a small public square to benefit the entire local community and the numerous children and elderly who pass their days within the alleys of the historic center, as well as indirect assistance to the ten families of the laborers involved in the works.

 

The project is one of a number of initiatives promoted by the Custody of the Holy Land, and supported through its Nongovernmental Organization ATS pro Terra Sancta, which seek to support the survival and development of the poorest part of the population of Jerusalem, by improving the physical and sanitary conditions of the buildings and by creating employment opportunities for both the unemployed and for temporary workers who come from East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Custody of the Holy Land has in fact for many centuries owned a large number of buildings within the Old City of Jerusalem: in addition to convents and churches, approximately 480 housing units which are being allocated to the most needy Christian families, who pay a symbolic rent to the Custody. Many of the houses and surrounding areas are in a dilapidated state – unsafe, unhealthy and lacking normal comforts – and are in urgent need of renovation in order to provide dignified living conditions for the inhabitants.

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More info about the project: www.jerusalemstonesofmemory.org

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