After visiting the Lalibel Rock-hewn churches on Tuesday, President Macron had pledged to give technical and financial support for the renovation of the churches.
Some religious fathers who attended the welcoming ceremony for the president told ENA that urgent restoration is needed for the churches which are severely damaged.
Megabi Haylat Semayat-Semere, a spiritual hymn teacher, said he is very happy that the president paid visit to the site; and urged the governments of Ethiopia and France to cooperate and respond to the urgent need.
“I am so happy that President Macron came here, and pray that this historical church will be renovated soon. I hope we will get enough response,” he added.
Megabi Eset Melaku said on his part Lalibela is not a place known only for its religious significance but also as one of the contributions of Ethiopia to humankind civilization.
He further appreciated the move of the Ethiopian and French governments and called on both to speed up the restoration of the rock-hewn churches urgently.
Megabi Eset, however, urged caution as previous attempts to restore the churches had even worsened the situation. Even if the site requires immediate renovation, all activities need to be based on study and research.
He also appreciated the French government for dispatching its technical staff to make research-based sustainable restoration of the churches.
“What we want is the immediate removal of this metal shed/ protection placed on the churches because the shed rests on the foundation of the churches. We fear that the church may collapse due to the movement of the shed”, he explained.
Megabi Eset indicated that the restoration will help the country to lure more tourists to the historical site.
Data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism show that renovation for the rock-hewn churches Bete-Mariam, Bete-Medhanialem, Bete-Amanuel, and Bete-Libanos will cost about 300 million birr.