Workers renovating Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity have uncovered a centuries-old icon “of great religious and historical value,” Ziad al-Bandak, a Palestinian presidential adviser for Christian Affairs, said Saturday.
Al-Bandak told the Ma’an news agency that the icon was discovered near a window under plaster nearly two months ago and is made of brass, silver, shells and stones.
The icon has reportedly been repaired and the plaster covering it removed. But it is not available for public viewing and images have yet to emerge.Other news articles, citing this article, have referred to the icon as an "artifact," which skews the meaning of the original article. "An icon ... is typically a painting depicting Christ, Mary, saints and/or angels, which is venerated among Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and in certain Catholic Churches. ... Icons may also be cast in metal, carved in stone, embroidered on cloth, painted on wood, done in mosaic or fresco work, printed on paper or metal, etc."