For the first time in more than a century the entrance to Our Lord' Tomb irt the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre has been closed.
Chaining of the door to the Sacred Tomb itself and closing of the main portion of the Basilica, to the disappointment of numerous military and civilian pilgrims, was occasioned by the resumption of repairs at the Basilica. Government-sponsored surveys in 1927 and 1935 revealed the venerable structure was in danger of partial collapse.
Extensive shoring by wooden beams, done two years ago, is now being supplemented by steel-beam supports at the arches of the great rotunda. While the repairs are unquestionably necessary, it is regarded as unfortunate that the costly work intkst remain in the nature of a temporary expedient. Work of this character further disfigures the ancient church, which already his suffered greatly since the days of the Crusaders by fire, earthquake and the results of faulty engineering which Marked the restoration by the Russians and Greeks in 180?-1809.