Temple Mount Repairs Leave Eyesores

Hershel Shanks comments on the unsightly appearance of the repair of bulges in the Temple Mount walls that was done several years ago and the scaffolding that was left behind. The Waqf (Muslim authority over the Temple Mount) and the Israelis accuse each other of having caused these bulges, on one of which we reported in a previous post.

One of the first lessons I was taught during the MA course in the Conservation of Ancient Buildings at the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies of the University of York, UK, was that one NEVER uses ordinary Portland cement in the repair of ancient buildings. It prevents ancient walls from “breathing” and eventually causes the collapse of these walls. The Waqf’s continued use of modern building materials in the repair of these bulges and other walls is the equivalent of putting a time-bomb in the walls of the Temple Mount.

Hershel asks himself the question about the remaining scaffolds: “They’ve been there now for several years. How much longer?” I can’t aswer that question, but I am sure that the unsightly repairs won’t be there for ever, for the ancient Temple Mount walls keep absorbing, not only the normal amount of rain water, but also the added amount of water that runs off the new paving that was laid at the southern end of the Temple Mount and that was also sealed with Portland cement. When ancient walls can’t breathe, they eventually collapse.

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