“This work has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of people from different companies, with different backgrounds and skills,” Piacenti said.
The church is administered jointly by Greek Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Apostolic authorities, and all have monastic communities there.
The restoration is being funded by countries including France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Morocco, as well as the Vatican.
During their research, they uncovered a mosaic angel, the seventh that still remains in the church, and cleaned and restored more than a million brilliantly colored tiny mosaic tiles.
“This church is a fortress that has survived attacks and 15 terrible earthquakes and it is still standing today,” he said.
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