Last June 13th 2016, in the presence of H.E Msgr. Antonio Camilleri, Deputy Secretary of State for International relation of the Holy See, Minister Ziad Albandak, chairman of the Presidential Committee for the Restoration of the Nativity, Mayor of Bethlehem Vera Baboun, Amb. Khouloud Daibes, member of The Presidential Committee for the Restoration of the Church of Nativity, Amb.Issa Kassissieh, Palestinian Ambassador to the Holy See, Prof. Nazmi Jubeh, member of the Presidential Committee for the Restoration of the Church, Prof. Claudio Alessandri, associated expert for the Restoration of the Nativity, Dr. Susanna Sarmati, associated expert for the Restoration of the Nativity, and Mr. Giammarco Piacenti, Piacenti S.p.a. general manager, the launching campaign for the III phase of the restoration of the Nativity Church in Bethlehem.
The event has been the occasion - as stated by Amb Khassissieh - to highlight the impressive and outstanding resaturation work made in the unique scenario of the Nativity Church. The spirit of the Sacred Place has been spread to the world. The restoration of the Nativity Church highlights the message of peace and justice in the Holy Land and in the world.
During the event, references have been made to possible traces of Constantine in the church and that the third phase of the restoration work will start soon. This phase is symbolically considered the most important as it will concern the renovation of the 50 columns in marble, which support all the Basilica structure and at that purpose the launching campaign of fund-raising to adopt a column has been launched.
Minister Al Bandak made an international plea, inviting all Countries, Institutions, Personalities and private citizens to adopt a column, stressing the sacred relevance that the Nativity Church represents for both Christians and Muslims. He stressed that two and half years will be needed to complete all the restoration works and 7.5 M USDollars from which 2.3 M USDollars will be used for the rennovation of the 50 columns (50.000,00 USDollars per column)