October 2013

The Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage visits the Church of Gethsemane

On 7 October the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities, Massimo Bray, during his visit to the Middle East, went to the Church of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, where he was able to see the restoration and preservation project promoted by the Italian Consulate General in Jerusalem through the joint Italian-Palestinian Palestinian Municipalities Support Program – PMSP, currently in its final phase. This project has been financed by the Italian Government, with co-financing from the Custody of the Holy Land, the Italian municipality of Rovereto (Trentino) and the Mosaic Centre of Jericho.

The Minister was accompanied by the Italian Consul General in Jerusalem, Davide La Cecilia, and assisted by Dr. Carla Benelli and the architect Osama Hamdan, both collaborators with ATS pro Terra Sancta and, along with the Mosaic Centre of Jericho, coordinators of the project.

Through this important project, mosaics forming part of both the interior and exterior façades, as well as the lead sheet roof covering, are being restored, while a training program on monument restoration is being carried out for a group of local youths.

Minister Bray was also able to admire the panels from the recent photo exhibition tracing the history and different phases of the execution of this project of great cultural value. Following his visit he was welcomed by Fra Diego under the splendid olive trees in the Garden of Olives, next to the church, for a walk facing the walls of the Holy City.

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