Europe

Experts begin first renovations of Jesus' tomb in 200 years

  • FILE - In this Friday, May 18, 2012 file photo, Greek Orthodox priests hold liturgy outside the tomb of Jesus in the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem. A team of experts is set to begin a historic renovation at the spot where Christians believe Jesus was buried, overcoming longstanding religious rivalries to carry out the first repairs at the site in over 200 years. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic, File)

    FILE - In this Friday, May 18, 2012 file photo, Greek Orthodox priests hold liturgy outside the tomb of Jesus in the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem. A team of experts is set to begin a historic renovation at the spot where Christians believe Jesus was buried, overcoming longstanding religious rivalries to carry out the first repairs at the site in over 200 years. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Monday, May 14, 2012 file photo, Armenian pilgrims pray at the Tomb of Jesus in the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem. A team of experts is set to begin a historic renovation at the spot where Christians believe Jesus was buried, overcoming longstanding religious rivalries to carry out the first repairs at the site in over 200 years.  (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, May 14, 2012 file photo, Armenian pilgrims pray at the Tomb of Jesus in the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem. A team of experts is set to begin a historic renovation at the spot where Christians believe Jesus was buried, overcoming longstanding religious rivalries to carry out the first repairs at the site in over 200 years. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Christian nuns watch as a team of experts begin the renovation of Jesus' tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's old city, Monday, June 6, 2016. A team of experts has begun a historic renovation at the spot where Christians believe Jesus was buried, overcoming longstanding religious rivalries to carry out the first repairs at the site in over 200 years. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    Christian nuns watch as a team of experts begin the renovation of Jesus' tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's old city, Monday, June 6, 2016. A team of experts has begun a historic renovation at the spot where Christians believe Jesus was buried, overcoming longstanding religious rivalries to carry out the first repairs at the site in over 200 years. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

A team of experts has begun the first renovations in over 200 years at the site where Christians believe Jesus was buried.

The work that began Monday is the first of its kind since 1810, and was made possible by a rare accord among Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Armenians, who are responsible for maintaining separate sections of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and who jealously guard their domains. In 2008, an argument between Greek Orthodox and Armenian monks erupted into a brawl.

This time, the clergymen have put aside their differences — a reflection of the dire need for the repairs. Last year, Israeli police briefly shut down the building after antiquities experts deemed it unsafe, prompting the Christian denominations to join forces.