Further to the message of the Universal House of Justice dated 8 April 2022 concerning the fire at the construction site of the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, we have been asked to share with you the following update.
The distress with which the friends around the world received the news of the fire testifies to the depth of their love for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and their longing for the completion of His Shrine. The House of Justice has been greatly moved by the outpouring of heartfelt love, the effusive expressions of support, and the untempered resilience and determination that are evident in the messages from individuals and institutions alike. Although investigations are yet to conclude, initial information suggests that the fire was the result of an unfortunate accident. Intensified by prevailing windy conditions, the fire led to loss of building material, destruction of the temporary formwork and scaffolding, and damage to portions of certain walls. Fortunately, the completed concrete structures remain intact, and the project is covered by insurance.
Despite this disruption and loss of several months of work, the project team has already taken steps to move the project forward. It has the full confidence of the House of Justice. As the damage to the sections most affected by the fire is considered and addressed, the focus of the construction will shift to completing work on other aspects of the project, including the north plaza. The construction of a visitors’ centre and other related facilities is also to commence shortly. In addition, the cutting and shaping of the marble cladding for the trellis in Italy and the manufacturing of the glazed glass in Portugal continue unabated.
While no specific completion date for the project has been set by the House of Justice, it shares the eager anticipation of the believers worldwide of the completion of the edifice and its surroundings and, ultimately, the transfer of the sacred remains of the beloved Master to their final resting place.