There has been a lot of discussions in the comments about clergy holding the shroud during exhibitions, or ostentations.  David Rolfe has a nice montage on his website, The Enigma of the Shroud of Turin. To view the montage, CLICK HERE and then scroll down the page. David writes:

Countless times over the centuries (even millennia if the C14 is wrong) the Shroud has been held up for display and, until only a few decades ago, this was always by grasping the corners. The potential for contamination here is infinitely greater than anywhere else on the cloth. The associated wear and tear may also have made it necessary to carry out repairs.

There is another picture on David’s website. He tell me it his favorite and I just might agree. Click on the picture to be linked to the larger version on his site.


FYI: From

os·ten·ta·tion [os-ten-tey-shuhn, -tuhn-]


1. pretentious or conspicuous show, as of wealth or importance; display intended to impress others.

2. Archaic. the act of showing or exhibiting; display.