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JERUSALEM – 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.