ROME (Reuters) – An Italian scientist says he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin, a feat that he says proves definitively that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus Christ’s burial cloth is a medieval fake.
The shroud, measuring 14 feet, 4 inches by 3 feet, 7 inches bears the image, eerily reversed like a photographic negative, of a crucified man some believers say is Christ.
“We have shown that is possible to reproduce something which has the same characteristics as the Shroud,” Luigi Garlaschelli, who is due to illustrate the results at a conference on the para-normal this weekend in northern Italy, said on Monday.
The Shroud of Turin shows the back and front of a bearded man with long hair, his arms crossed on his chest, while the entire cloth is marked by what appears to be rivulets of blood from wounds in the wrists, feet and side.
Carbon dating tests by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Tucson, Arizona in 1988 caused a sensation by dating it from between 1260 and 1390. Sceptics said it was a hoax, possibly made to attract the profitable medieval pilgrimage business.
But scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain how the image was left on the cloth.
Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages.
They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. A mask was used for the face.
PIGMENT, BLOODSTAINS AND SCORCHES
The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries.
They then added blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains to achieve the final effect.
The Catholic Church does not claim the Shroud is authentic nor that it is a matter of faith, but says it should be a powerful reminder of Christ’s passion.
One of Christianity’s most disputed relics, it is locked away at Turin Cathedral in Italy and rarely exhibited. It was last on display in 2000 and is due to be shown again next year.
TURIN, Italy — The long linen with the faded image of a bearded man is the object of centuries-old fascination and wonderment, and closely kept under wrap. Starting Saturday, and for six weeks, both the curious and those convinced the Turin Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ can have a brief look.
By late Friday, 1.5 million people had reserved their three-to-five-minute chance to gaze at the cloth, which is kept in a bulletproof, climate-controlled case. Organizers said earlier this year they hoped some 2 million pilgrims and tourists would see the linen
during the special viewing from April 10 to May 23 2010.
Shroud Of Turin 2010 – The real face of Jesus
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