Nativity Church Restoration — A Project we Support

Ongo­ing Projects

In the year of 2008 and by a Pres­i­den­tial decree, The Pres­i­den­tial Com­mit­tee for Restora­tion of the Church of Nativ­i­ty was estab­lished. The Com­mit­tee is cur­rent­ly head­ed by Eng. Ziad Alban­dak and mem­ber­ship of: Mar­wan Abdel­hamid, Varsen Aghabekian, Naz­mi Al Jubeh, Khouloud Daibes, Claudette Habesch, Nabil Kas­sis, Issa Kas­sissieh and Anton Salman.

By the year of 2010, the Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty and the Pres­i­den­tial Com­mit­tee, after coor­di­nat­ing and get­ting the approvals from the dif­fer­ent con­cerned church­es, announced a design and assess­ment effort ten­der. This ten­der has been estab­lished to direct the restora­tion pro­gram of the Nativ­i­ty Church. The Design agree­ment was signed off in Sep­tem­ber 2010 with the select­ed con­sor­tium in the pres­ence and wit­ness of the Prime Min­ster Dr. Salam Fayyad and the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the three con­cerned church­es, the Ortho­dox Patri­ar­chate of Jerusalem, Holy Land Cus­tody Ter­ra Sanc­ta and the Arme­ni­ans Ortho­dox Patri­ar­chate of Jerusalem.

The three stages of design were com­plet­ed in Octo­ber 2011. The design pack­age com­prised of a final report, ten­der doc­u­ments, design draw­ings and a Bill of Quan­ti­ties for each com­po­nent of the restora­tion pro­gram of the Nativ­i­ty Church.

The Pres­i­den­tial Com­mit­tee award­ed the Ital­ian firm “Pia­cen­ti spa” the con­tract for Phase I: “Roof and Win­dows Restora­tion” on July 25, 2013 since their sub­mit­ted ten­der pro­pos­al on June 14, 2013 got the high­est scores in both tech­ni­cal and finan­cial offers through­out a com­pet­i­tive inter­na­tion­al bid­ding process.

On August 26, 2013 an agree­ment was signed between the Pales­tin­ian Pres­i­den­tial Com­mit­tee for the Restora­tion of the Church of Nativ­i­ty as Employ­er and Pia­cen­ti S.p.a. – Italy as the “Con­trac­tor” to start the first phase of restora­tion “Roof & Win­dows” .The late Mr. Said Khoury, Co-Founder of Con­sol­i­dat­ed Con­trac­tors com­pa­ny (CCC) and founder of the Beth­le­hem Devel­op­ment Foun­da­tion (BDF), spear­head­ed the need­ed stud­ies and was the first to fund these restora­tions in 2011. In 2013 and beyond, BDF was able to secure a gen­er­ous dona­tion of $1M from The Arab Fund for Eco­nom­ic and Social Devel­op­ment to fund the restora­tion of the exter­nal facades and inter­nal plaster.

In Sep­tem­ber 2018 BDF secured fund­ing from the Lev­ant Foun­da­tion to fund the restora­tion of the last 11 columns of the cen­tral nave of the Nativ­i­ty Church.

Since the com­mence­ment of the restora­tion works on Sep­tem­ber 15, 2013, the Com­mit­tee has been receiv­ing gen­er­ous dona­tions from dif­fer­ent donors, which enabled them to start and com­plete oth­er restora­tion tasks based on a list of pri­or­i­ties and accord­ing to the final study rec­om­men­da­tions. These addi­tion­al works includ­ed the restora­tion of the narthex, the narthex east­ern wood­en door, the exter­nal stone façades, inter­nal wall plas­ter­ing, wall mosa­ic, the Basil­i­ca met­al doors, wood­en archi­trav­es, the instal­la­tion of the elec­tri­cal sys­tems “light­ing and smoke detec­tion sys­tems”, 33 columns out of the Basil­i­ca 50 columns and two por­tions of the floor mosaic.