Voices of Jerusalem: An Architect on Repairing the City's Ancient Churches

Dr. Theodossios Mitropoulos works as an architect for the Greek Patriarchate, overseeing the repair and maintenance of church properties in Jerusalem.

Produced in association with Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from September 26, 2016, through January 8, 2017.

Dr. Theodossios Mitropoulos: You are in the last floor of the bell tower of the Holy Sepulchre Church. I'm the director responsible for the whole restoration in the country regarding the monuments and churches. I completed the restoration of this monument 10 years ago in collaboration with the Antiquity Authorities of Jerusalem.

It's very important, because in these places there is a concentration of all the civilization, from the antiquity until now.

A problem for the monuments is the visitors, especially the religious monuments. The visitors touch and kiss the icons. In other places it's forbidden to do it, but here everything is allowed, because the visitors come from all around the world.

The last two years we started to think about the restoration of the Holy Tomb. It's the decision of the three churches. We discover a lot of things about the big damage to the monument. And our team is now thinking to make this intervention, the consolidation, restoration, protection of the stones.

For me, I hope this is the last project of my life. It's the most important. These monuments create the history of Jerusalem. Jerusalem for sure is one of the most famous, important sites in the world. It's called the umbilicus del mondo, so the center of the earth, no?

I hope all of us pray for the peace of the country, because if it is destroyed through civilian or military wars, the people forget everything. No more restoration. If there's no peace, how to proceed?

Producer and Director: Christopher Noey
Director of Photography: Alex Rappoport
Producer: Kate Farrell
Editor: Sarah Cowan
Production Coordinator: Ruthy Lustig-Dassa, A2 Productions Ltd.
Gaffer: Ya'ir Dahan
Sound Recording: Itamar Goldman
Sound Editing: David Raymond
Production Assistants: Kaelan Burkett, Munir Ibrahim, Imad Khuri, Lisa Rifkind
Transcription: Denise Rohlfs
Scholarly Advisors: Barbara Drake Boehm, Melanie Holcomb

Special thanks to:
Aish HaTorah World Center, Jerusalem
Al-Aqsa Mosque, Awqaf Administration
Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Chapel of the Flagellation and Studium Biblicum Franciscanum
Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem
Custodia Terrae Sanctae
East Jerusalem Development Ltd.
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Hashimi Hotel
The Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified
Indian Hospice
The Jerusalem Archaeological Park - Davidson Center
Monastery of the Cross, Jerusalem
Monastery of St. Saviour, Jerusalem
Dr. Yusuf Said Natsheh

© 2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Related Videos