(ANSA) – Rome, June 13 – Fresh traces of the Roman Emperor Constantine may have been found at Bethlehem’s Nativity Church during a major restoration project underway by Italian company Piacenti, experts said Monday. The traces may be seen on reused, decorated wooden material, found a week ago inside Justinian’s architrave and dating back to before that. The dating, which has to be confirmed with carbon-14, is viewed as “possible” by archaeologists. An appeal was launched in Rome for the restoration of the 50 columns of the Nativity Church. Ziad Albandak, head of the presidential committee for the restoration of the basilica, said 2.3 million euros was needed to fund the restoration, to be carried out by Italy’s Piacenti company. The invitation to “adopt a column” is open to governments, private companies and individuals and aimed at restoring to their former glory the two lines of columns from the time of Justinian with their 30 capitals and paintings of saints as well as red, yellow and blue decorations.
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