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Image: Bethlehem Reborn exhibition

When: 12 September - 5 October 2023
(open for public from 13 September 2023)
From Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Where: Ecumenical Center
1 Route des Morillons, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex
Geneva, Switzerland

This exhibition gives an impression of the wonder this unique church is: An invitation to visit Palestine, admire the beauty of the basilica and the holy city of Bethlehem as well as an inspiration to work together for unity, justice and peace.

Following unprecedented renovations that lasted almost ten years, the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem has been restored to its original beauty. A symbol of humanity has been given back to the faithful all over the world and to today’s pilgrims who follow in the footsteps of the women and men who over the centuries have venerated the birthplace of Jesus.

Through the discoveries of new archaeological excavations and complex restoration works, this exhibition tells the story of renewed devotion – from the time of the first Christians who venerated a simple grotto to the age of the Byzantine emperors who built one of the most magnificent basilicas of antiquity that later on was fortified and lavishly decorated by the knights who founded the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. 

By documenting restoration work and archaeological excavations, the exhibition constructs a broader and deeper story that embraces the entire space of the basilica from the system of grottos to the roof, showing its development from the oldest periods up to the present day. 

Through its five areas/sections, the exhibition uses the nearly completed restoration project as a thread that stitches together the even greater history of the oldest monument in Christendom.

The exhibition is promoted by:

  • State of Palestine 
  • Higher Presidential Committee of Churches Affairs in Palestine 
  • Presidential Committee for the Restoration of the Church of the Nativity 
  • Embassy of the State of Palestine to the Holy See 

In cooperation with Bethlehem Development Foundation; Piacenti S.p.a and with the participation of University of Pavia.

Geneva exhibition organized by:

  • Permanent Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations and other international organizations 
  • World Council of Churches 

Media contact:
Marianne Ejdersten,
WCC Communication director
+41 79 507 6363
WCC: +41 22 791 61 11
WCC Communication Department: 
+41 22 791 61 11
Media interested to attend the opening of the exhibition on 12 September at 17:00-18:30 CEST at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, please email at the latest 12 September at 10am. 

Live-stream link to the opening ceremony on 12 September 

WCC Event page

"WCC to welcome “Bethlehem Reborn” exhibit" - WCC news release 6 September 2023