Another Go-To Place on the Web to Explore the Shroud’s Image

Mario Latendresse’s Shroud Scope is still my favorite Go-To site for exploring shroud images (The Enrie and Durante 2002 images). But I must also praise the facility offered by the Diocese of Turin of the Haltadefinizione images on the web. It is another Go-To site.

imageAlthough based on the Haltadefinizione scans, it does not have the high definition quality of the iPad app, Shroud 2.0. But that is not what this web-based tool is for. It’s a simple, easy way for the public at large to explore the shroud’s image online. As a Go-To spot for the general public, it may be the best.

A few features:

  • As with Mario’s facility, you can move the image about – left and right, and up and down – by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the image about. Movement is smooth.
  • Also, as with Mario’s tool, you can zoom up and down with a mouse scroll wheel or with clickable buttons. Zoom sizes stated as percentages are simply relative values and have nothing to do with real size measurements.
  • To rotate the image 90 degrees simply click on the rotation buttons.
  • Four languages are supported at this time:  1) Italian, 2) English, 3) French and 4) Russian.  Clickable explanations of different parts of the images are excellent and they support on-the-fly Bing or Google translation into numerous other languages. Here is one example of an explanation:



The tool does not offer rectangle drawing for copying parts of images but that is unnecessary with simple tools that are now part of every standard operating systems (I used Window’s notebook for the above extracts).

Resolution looks good but the file is still very limited in terms of size (it need not be). If you want really high definition you will need to use Shroud 2.0 from which the following image of the epsilon bloodstain was taken in my iPhone. Yes, my iPhone! And then I doubled it just for the fun of it.  It is even bigger and better on an iPad. The app and image stream is available from iTunes. The app is free and the data is $3.99.


Six major artifacts, including the Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, and John the Baptist?

Just in time for Easter and the 2015 Shroud Exposition

John the Baptist is an artifact?

imageIf, like half the world, you have been watching CNN during the last couple of days, you may have seen a frequent ad for an upcoming series of shows starting in March.  The ad, in a quick succession of screens says:  Faith, Fact, Forgery and Finding Jesus March 2015.

Google produces little information except a nearly empty page from Carmel Communications saying:

Finding Jesus: Faith, FACTS, Forgery, a CNN relics series – coming to television on March 1, 2015; a 6- week series.

More information coming soon!

Amazon tells us about a soon to be released book called, Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery.: Six Holy Objects That Tell the Remarkable Story of the Gospels by David Gibson (Author), Michael McKinley (Author). It will be available sometime around February 24th in Hardcover, Kindle, Audio CD and Downloadable Audio. The description reads:

As featured in the 6-part CNN SERIES "Finding Jesus"FINDING JESUS explores six major artifacts, including the Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, and John the Baptist, that give us the most direct evidence about the life and world of Jesus. The book and attendant CNN series provide a dramatic way to retell "the greatest story ever told" while introducing a broad audience to the history, the latest controversies, and newest forensic science involved in sorting out facts from the fiction of would-be forgers and deceivers. The book and the show draw on experts from all over the world. Beyond the faithful, the book will also appeal to the skeptical and to curious readers of history and archaeology, while it takes viewers of the primetime TV series deeper into the story.

I blogged about this last April writing then:

BREAKING: Jon Creamer of Televisual Media UK tells us about an upcoming six-part series on Jesus:

Nutopia is to make a ‘forensic’ drama doc about the life of Jesus in a six-part commission for CNN called Jesus Code.

Jesus Code will look at “forensics, biblical archaeology and forgery, exploring their connection to the real life of Jesus by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.”

The show will use drama reconstruction and interviews with scholars to re-examine six objects connected to the Biblical Jesus.

Executive Producer, Ben Goold (The Story of US, Mankind, The British) said “These are compelling and astonishing stories of relics such as the Turin Shroud and the True Cross that not only capture the imagination, but also offer real revelations about one of the most important figures in human history.”

Jesus Code will be produced by Nutopia in association with Paperny Entertainment. Filming will start in October in Europe, the US, North Africa and Middle East.  Executive Producers are Ben Goold for Nutopia and Lynne Kirby for Paperny Entertainment and it will be distributed internationally by DRG.

Jesus Code forms part of CNN’s new documentary strand in the ET 9pm primetime line-up.

Rodney Ho of The Atlanta Journal Constitution gives the story a bit more punch with a bit less detail as part of a story on 9 p.m. time slot that Larry King occupied for a quarter century and Piers Morgan attempted to fill. The story is mostly about the big guns CNN is bringing into the hour:Mike Rowe (‘formerly of Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs’), Lisa Ling (formerly of “Our America with Lisa Ling”) and John Walsh (formerly of Fox’s ‘America’s Most Wanted”). And the icing on the cake:

Finally, how could the most famous man in history have left almost no trace behind? Bringing the most compelling artifacts together for the first time, The Jesus Code will take viewers on a thrilling high-stakes journey through forensics, biblical archeology and forgery in history, exploring the evidence of Jesus’ existence by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.

Let’s see, six relics?  (1) Shroud of Turin, (2) True Cross, (3) Holy Grail ???, (4) Veronica’s Veil ???, (5) Seamless Garment ???, (6) ???.

Can you guess what the other three artifacts will be?

Photographs of the Shroud and Copyright

imageColin Berry made an interesting comment about copyright of photographs of the shroud:

But I decided first to google “Gian Carlo Durante”, it being the first time I’d seen his first two names, and quickly came across this fascinating pdf that documents the controversial 2002 restoration. Tucked away inside is a heart-warming sentence that Gian Carlo Durante generously waived his copyright on his 2002 photographic archive, leaving Turin and the Holy See as the sole owners.

One’s tempted to say more, a lot more, where copyright on photographic images of the TS is concerned. Frankly I’m amazed that private individuals with camera equipment, no matter how respected professionally, were ever allowed to acquire copyright anyway for what is surely a technical operation only. All that was required of them was to make as objective as possible a photographic facsimile with no obvious creative input that would aid further research. (emphasis mine)

Can you even copyright photographs of the shroud?  It seems that in the United States, you cannot. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this is my personal opinion).

The U. S. District Court for Southern New York has held that “exact photographic copies of public domain images could not be protected by copyright in the United States because the copies lack originality. Even if accurate reproductions require a great deal of skill, experience and effort, the key element for copyrightability under U.S. law is that copyrighted material must show sufficient originality.”

In other words, photographs of the shroud are probably not protected by copyright. Is this fair? Possibly not. But the courts have said, in one form or another, that the more accurate the photograph the less copyrightable it is. What about contrast enhancements, negative reversals, images produced by the VP-8 Image Analyzer or ImageJ, etc. The courts are clear here, as well; “sweat of the brow” is not a “creative spark” which deserves copyright.

So is the image on the shroud in the public domain?  If it is a work of art by whatever means, it is. If it is not a work of art, well try to argue that in court and try to argue that the question is germane. It’s not.

Online Shroud of Turin Photographic Resources:

BTW: In this cyber age, where is a photograph published for copyright purposes?  For instance, I may think I am uploading photographs from my computer but I’m sometimes just pushing them around in the “cloud.” Globally, servers are everywhere. I don’t even know where they are anymore. I take a picture with my iPhone that is not even stored on my camera and may be on a server in South America today and in Spain tomorrow. Yet it is my photograph.  And we can forget about domain suffixes. Do any of us really think that is a website for ABC Television in the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu?

An Early Morning Google Find

The American Heroes Channel (AHC) is repeating the Shroud of Turin episode of its Secrets of the Bible series, this coming Sunday at 8:00 and 11:00 pm Eastern and Pacific time.

In the meantime:  It is really cold down here in South Carolina where it isn’t supposed to be cold. Water pipes are not well insulated and a lot of plumbers are going to make a lot of money tomorrow fixing broken pipes. I have set the kitchen faucet to drip all night and I just got out of bed to check it.  As I was doing so my iPhone beeped to let me know that a Google bot had spotted something. If you enter Shroud of Turin Fanti into Google you might get something that looks like this. (Yes, you can click on it).


The haters are, almost by definition, stupid.

imageThe Virtues of Know-Nothing Criticism by Noah Berlatsky (pictured) appearing in the Los Angeles Review of Books on New Year’s eve has nothing to do with the Shroud of Turin and perhaps everything to do with how we sometimes argue about it. It’s a light two-minute read:

The problem with demanding a certain kind of knowledge or a certain kind of expertise in criticism, then, is that it can end up presupposing, or insisting upon, a certain kind of conversation. And often that seems like the point: expertise is used as an excuse to silence critics — and especially negative critics. Gamergate’s response to Anita Sarkeesian is the most obvious example, but you can see it in virtually any fandom. Folks who adore, say,Game of Thrones, are way more likely to have read all the books and seen all the episodes of Game of Thrones. People who dislike Game of Thrones are less likely to put in the time. How can you watch one episode of Game of Thronesand dismiss it? How can you read half of Maus and think that it’s boring and pompous? What gives you the right? Expertise becomes a quick, efficient way to shut down naysayers. Those who love video games, or Game of Thrones, or Wonder Woman are the only ones who can truly understand; the haters are, almost by definition, stupid.

[ . . . ]

. . . Expertise, then, seems an excuse to make everyone talk about the same things in the same way. But there’s no one true way to view a piece of art; no one privileged perspective that will give you the right experience of Shakespeare, or Wonder Woman, or video games, or romance novels. A partial view may be as meaningful as a whole one, and being alienated by a work of art, or feeling you don’t want to finish it, or look at it for a second more, is as valid as obsessive interest and passionate fandom.

We also have the Shroud of Turin

as proof that Jesus existed?

imageMaybe this explains why Crossan is sometimes not so popular with his fellow academics:

Numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called “Historical Jesus” – and most of them are, as biblical scholar J.D. Crossan puts it, “an academic embarrassment”.

And this is the point of the article, Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’ appearing in Heritage Daily:

From Crossan’s view of Jesus as the wise sage, to Robert Eisenman’s Jesus the revolutionary, and Bart Ehrman’s apocalyptic prophet, about the only thing New Testament scholars seem to agree on is Jesus’ historical existence. But can even that be questioned?

The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith.

These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify.

We also have the Shroud of Turin, which for 30 years now has had a very active website where scholars have reported and other scholars have questioned its authenticity. While its authenticity may never be verified scientifically, there is enough evidence to convince any court of law, were a case to be brought.

    And what should appear but a reader comment:

. . . We also have the Shroud of Turin, which for 30 years now has had a very active website where scholars have reported and other scholars have questioned its authenticity. While its authenticity may never be verified scientifically, there is enough evidence to convince any court of law, were a case to be brought.

And a response to the comment, of course:

. . . The shroud of Turin is confidently dated 1260 to 1390 AD. It’s not the only shroud attributed to Jesus’ resurrection and it can’t even convincingly be said to be that of Jesus.

There is nowhere near enough valid evidence to convince a court of law of it’s authenticity. In the first place, there’s no body, the forensic evidence shows otherwise, it’s history smacks of fakery, and it’s not unique. It would be thrown out as frivolous.

It never works to invoke the Turin Shroud to try to convince a skeptic until you can first prove the shroud is authentic, not just claim it is.

BTW:  In 2002, Crossan said in a Beliefnet Forum:

My best understanding is that the Shroud of Turin is a medieval relic-forgery. I wonder whether it was done from a crucified dead body or from a crucified living body. That is the rather horrible question once you accept it as a forgery.

News Story from

imageGoogle Translation from Holy Shroud Official Website News Archives:

"Turin and the symbol of the Shroud". Debate between Msgr. Ghiberti [pictured] and Imam Pallavicini  

Thursday, January 8, 2014 at the cultural center From al-Hikma

‘And the symbol of Turin Shroud. " It is the theme of the meeting held Thursday, January 8 to 18 in Turin at the cultural center From al-Hikma (via Fiocchetto 15).

Speakers Msgr. Giuseppe Ghiberti, president of honor of the Diocesan Commission for the Shroud and Imam Yahya Pallavicini, vice-president of CO.RE.IS. (Islamic Religious Community) Italian, moderates Chiara Ferrero Academy of ISA.

The figure of Jesus as seen through the symbol of the Holy Shroud, will be the focus of the dialogue between Msgr. Ghiberti and Imam Pallavicini.

"The prospect Islamic and Christian – explain the organizers – the son of the Virgin Mary will be juxtaposed in a comparison that helps to understand what they have in common Christian and Muslim brothers in faith in the one God of Abraham."

The meeting is the third round of the series "The Thursday of wisdom" on the theme "Masters of wisdom and holy Islamic ‘, now in its third edition, an initiative born from the collaboration between the old House of Knowledge and the Academy of ISA inter-religious studies, in collaboration with the CO.RE.IS. (Islamic Religious Community) Italian and under the patronage of the District 7.

For information: Academy Isa, email , site ; Center House of Knowledge, site ;

Msgr. Giuseppe Ghiberti: Mail .