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2011
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Custody of the Holy Land, UNESCO and Italian Cooperation join together to safeguard the Old City of Jerusalem: celebrations in the Christian Quarter

2nd dicember 2011

On 6th December at 3.30 p.m. in Saha Square, in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, there will be the ceremony presenting the work carried out by the Custody of the Holy Land as part of the “Jerusalem, stones of memory” project, initiated by ATS pro Terra Sancta in partnership with the UNESCO Word Heritage Centre, and made possible by the contributions of Italian Development Cooperation.

To protect and safeguard the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem whilst tackling the housing emergency: this is the main objective of the “Jerusalem, stones of memory” project, the works of which were followed by the Technical Department of the Custody and made possible by the generosity of private and public donors.

The funds, offered by the Italian Government through the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), were used in particular to renovate the facades of the “Al Saha” complex, giving employment to eight workers from East Jerusalem and the West Bank, trained by two works managers, supervised by local and Italian architects and curators.

The work, carried out in the context of the “Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem” launched by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2003, has restored the public square, which has now been returned to the local community of a neighbourhood where there are many children and elderly people who normally spend their days in the alleys of the old centre. The initiative has also indirectly helped the families of the labourers who took part in the work.
The funds from the Italian Department of Cooperation have allowed tackling the housing emergency in the Old City of Jerusalem reducing, in particular, the wastage of water by promoting its rational use. During the “Housing and social emergency in the Old City of Jerusalem” project, the Custody’s Technical Department improved the oldest and damaged plumbing of houses in the Old City of Jerusalem, limiting water leakages and avoiding damage to adjacent apartments or those underneath.
The funds collected from Italian donors will allow improvements in some 60 apartments.

The ceremony will be attended by representatives of the Custody of the Holy Land, the donor organizations and the families benefiting from the work who live in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

For information
Online: Jerusalemstonesofmemory.org
Contact: Valentina Gamba (v.gamba@proterrasancta.org, info@proterrasancta.org) Tel +972 2 627 1165

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