The Shroud in the papers this Easter Sunday
Casual interest turned into 17 years of education and research surrounding the world’s most famous 14-foot piece of linen for Bryan Walsh when he visited the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado in 1997.
Before his visit, he spent three hours on the phone with John Jackson, the 1978 leader of an international research team on the cloth believed to have wrapped Jesus’ body after he was crucified.
“It was like two peas in a pod getting together,” Walsh said.
He returned to Richmond with the hope of opening a similar center and putting his chemistry background to work.
Walsh and research director Diana Fulbright also have an office and research room, which in the summer will contain lab equipment for experiments related to the shroud.
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During the 40 days before Easter known as Lent, Walsh said he and Fulbright spend about 30 hours per week making presentations to community groups and churches along the East Coast. They have even traveled to jails to educate inmates about the sacred cloth.
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Walsh will be conducting experiments this summer related to linen’s reaction to chemicals that might alter the accuracy of radiocarbon dating.
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“It’s all recent discoveries and science. … It’s all as if we’re supposed to understand it now,” he said. “Every time we get closer, it gets further away.”