Art News

Jerusalem’s five-century-old walls restored at cost of $5 million, idiosyncracies and all

JERUSALEM (AP).- Israeli experts are nearing completion of an ambitious restoration of the five-century-old walls of Jerusalem, the holy city’s dominant architectural feature and a unique record of its eventful and troubled history. The $5 million undertaking, which began in 2007, is set to be complete by the end of this year. The first restoration of the walls in nearly a century, it has required decisions about which of the walls’ many idiosyncrasies — the falcon nests, for example, the hundreds of machine-gun bullets, the botched restorations of years past — are flaws to be corrected, and which have earned a place in Jerusalem’s story and are thus worth preserving. Jerusalem’s stone walls are 2-½ miles (4 kilometers) in length. They include seven gates. “On these walls you see the whole history of this city,” said Avi Mashiah,