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Jesus’ restored tomb is unveiled, well in time for Easter

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - MARCH 21: (ISRAEL OUT) The tomb of Jesus Christ with the rotunda is seen in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on March 21, 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel. The tomb of Jesus Christ in the rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City was, on 26 February 2017, without its iron cage for the first time since it was placed around the stone tomb by the British in 1947 to keep the Edicule from falling apart. Greek archaeologists have been working since June 2016 to restore the tomb, believed to be the place where Jesus Christ was buried and then resurrected from after his crucification. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

The tomb of Jesus Christ with the rotunda is seen in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

JERUSALEM — Renovations at Christianity’s holiest site — carried out over the past nine months — were finally unveiled Wednesday in a ceremony that brought together rival Christian denominations and ushered in a new era for pilgrims wanting to get closer to their savior.

Restoring the Holy Edicule, the chamber where Christians believe Jesus was buried and rose from the dead after his crucifixion, was no simple undertaking.

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The shrine, which is thought to encase Jesus’ 2,000-year-old burial cave, stands at the heart of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a 12th-century edifice built atop 4th-century remains.

Control of the sprawling church is shared by six Christian denominations.

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In the case of the Edicule, renovations to the structure, built in 1810, were long overdue. Water damage had caused it to buckle, and it threatened to collapse under its own weight. Last year, Israel’s Antiquities Authority deemed the site unsafe and briefly closed the building, to much protest.

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