Ian Knowles (left), British director of the Bethlehem Icon Centre, advises foreign
students of the centre during their course in the biblical West Bank
city of Bethlehem on Tuesday (AFP photo)
BETHLEHEM, Palestinian Territories — Down a Bethlehem alleyway, sunlight illuminates a golden icon of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, signalling the revival of an ancient art being practised in the workshop inside.
The building near the Church of the Nativity — the site where Christians believe Jesus was born — houses a group of enthusiasts specialising in the sacred art of iconography.
They are doing so some 2,000 years after Christian iconography began in nearby Jerusalem — also where Christians believe Jesus was resurrected after his crucifixion, to be commemorated this Sunday for Easter.
They work in both silence and in prayer, with their art a far cry from the cheap mass-produced icons sold in souvenir shops to tourists and pilgrims.
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