The Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural heritage shortlisted four contractors for the renovation works of the Holy Trinity Cathedral Church, a project which is expected to consume as high as 80 million Br.
It a renovation project that is expected to extend the time span of the cathedral without another major renovation by 50 years.
In a letter addressed to the Cathedral on December 27, 2021, the Authority suggested Varnero Construction, Misak General Construction, Planet Museum Activities & Preservation and Historic Site of Building, and Elmi Olindo Contractors Plc to be competitors in the renovation bid.
The bid is expected to be floated soon after the shortlisted contractors visit and assess the damage in the Cathedral by themselves before submitting their financial proposal.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral, whichis the most important place of worship for Ethiopian Orthodox Christiansnext to the church of St Mary of Zion in Axum, has not undergone major renovations since its completion during the reign of Haile Selassie I.
Fasil Giorghis Consult has done an assessment that lasted for nine months on the damage that occurred in the cathedral building and landscape after it won a bid over MH Engineering and Atkon Consult, a project overseen by the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage in August 2020, based on the request of the church.
The study concluded that the cathedral building had finished its era of service after finding major cracks in its colons and ceiling, and water leakage into the basement, according to Sireat Ayele (Eng.), Chairman of the Technical Committee for the cathedral renovation.
“The ceiling is leaking water and the mosaic arts on the colon are falling down. Also there is a possibility of finding damage that cannot be seen by eye, which can raise the level of damage that occurred,” Sireat said.
Besides the renovation in the building, the study also included ways to renovate the landscape of the church’s compound and refine the statues in it. The church wants the cathedral to be a major tourist attraction in the city.
According to Sireat, the renovation will be done in two phases. Maintaining the damage in the building is part of the first phase. Restructuring the landscape of the cathedral’s compound will be done after that. The renovation process includes maintenance of the electrification of the church and refining of paintings and statues in and outside of the church’s nave.
The study suggested that the renovation of the cathedral needed at least two years at a cost ranging between 80 and 100 million birr.
The church’s administration planned to move the replica of the Ark of the Covenant in the cathedral temporarily to Bealweld Church, which is behind the Holy Trinity Cathedral, on January 15, 2022, until the renovation is completed. The site will be then open to contractors to assess the damage to the cathedral adding to the study done by the consultant.
“The contractors will submit their financial proposal for the bid after they assess the damage themselves,” said Sireat.