The discovery of a baptismal font during the restoration work of the Church of the Nativity in the biblical city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank will pave the way to learn more about the history of the church, announced on Saturday, June 22, Ziad al-Bandak, head of the Presidential Committee for the Restoration of the Church of the Nativity.
He said at a press conference held at the Church that “during the restoration work of the baptismal font in the southern corridor of the church, the southern church wing, and during the preliminary archaeological studies and analysis of the baptismal stone that precedes the restoration work, another circular baptismal font was discovered hidden inside the existing octagonal baptismal font made of stone similar to the stone of the columns.”
He added that archaeological and historical studies are underway to find out more about the history of the church and its archeological artifacts, and that the baptismal font will be restored by specialists in restoration and in accordance with international standards of restoration, Wafa News Agency reports.
He pointed out that the Presidential Committee has summoned experts from the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in addition to its international experts to participate in the studies and the archaeological analysis of the discovered font.
Bandak explained that this discovery will contribute to increasing knowledge about the history and importance of the Church through the different periods of history, which is an important part of the Palestinian past history and present.
He said the international ceremony at the end of the restoration work, which was planned for November this year, has been postponed until May of next year or early June to allow the three churches in charge of the Church of Nativity – the Greek Orthodox Patriarchs, the Custody of the Holy Land, and the Armenian Orthodox Church – to carry out the restoration of the grotto according to the Status Quo, since the grotto is the foundation and essence of holiness of the Church of the Nativity where Jesus Christ was born.