Walter McCrone: Art Experts Should Not Weigh In

Joe Marino writes:

imageI was rewatching the 2007 DVD "The Case for Christ’s Resurrection," put out by Grizzly Adams Productions.  One of the extras recounts some of the correspondence between Fr. Rinaldi and McCrone.  The narrator said that Fr. Rinaldi asked McCrone to put his findings before art experts.  McCrone replied, "The Shroud is not a question for art experts."  So McCrone, a scientist, who said the Shroud was a piece of art, maintained that art experts shouldn’t weigh in on the authenticity of the cloth.  Pretty amazing!

Yes. It is.

Pictured:  Walter McCrone

17 thoughts on “Walter McCrone: Art Experts Should Not Weigh In”

  1. What I find really amazing is Marino going to great lengths several years ago to tell us that the C14 test resulted in a medieval date due to “invisible weaving” and nowadays saying that the Shroud “is simply not, and never has been, a suitable item to carbon date.”

    1. Philippe, in his last Shroud book Ian Wilson provides a number of good reasons to demonstrate why the relic is not a suitable item for carbon dating.

    2. I don’t see that saying the Shroud is not suitable for C-14 and proposing a reason why it was wrong are mutually exclusive.

      1. In general: no. But I don’t think that the Shroud is not suitable for C-14 dating.I think exactly contrary -the Shroud is fully suitable for C-14 dating -but the choice of the sample location in 1988 was very unfortunate. My gut feeling is had another location been sampled as well, we would have at least one 1st century reading beside 13th-14th century we obtained.

  2. The pity is that neither Rinaldi or the STURP team either put the Shroud before art experts. The STURP team actually said in their report that they did not examine any painted linens! If they had they would have found that these painted images were always painted on the outer fibrils of the cloth and something might just have clicked!

    1. That’s not quite correct Charles. Jim Drusik of the Los Angeles County Museum was a formal member of the STURP team and participated in the planning of our experiments before we left and in the evaluation of the data after we returned. STURP was a scientific research group so instead of calling an art expert, they acquired a database of the spectral characteristics of every paint, pigment and binder used from medieval to modern times and performed careful spectral analyses across the entire Shroud. They found no traces of paint, pigments or binders. It’s called SCIENCE.

  3. STURP team members did not find any evidence of painting, that being the reason why no painted linen was examined.

  4. So McCrone who claims to be a scientist claims the Shroud is a piece of art. This. This in spite of the fact that there is no scientific evidence evincing the Shroud’s origins. The danger of the Shroud debate – is that of so called scientists – being too anxious to claim infallibility in their analysis. Even the popes have been careful not to weigh-in with their judgements on the Shroud. It is a mystery for the time being. A mystery that speaks to our own mystery. I suspect the widsom of the Catholic Church – if it is wisdom – and I suspect it is – is that there will likely always be a debate about the authenticity of the shroud – regardless of evidences. It is too confounding. The debate itself is quite edifying and clarifying even if there are no conclusions.

    1. Stop me if you’ve heard this one–wait–it’s the Internet so you can’t stop me. I’ve told this before but it’s worth telling again, if nothing else for anyone recently new to the blog. For the 2005 conference in Dallas, Barrie was interviewed by a local reporter. McCrone’s name came up in the conversation. Barrie made it clear that McCrone was deceased (about 3 years at that point), but when the story came out the reporter mentioned him with the phrase, “…McCrone, who did not attend the conference…” I think it would have made some headlines if he had.

      1. Joe that was a pun. Of course he’s past away. However, the letter brings him back to life. I too was at Dallas in 2005 selling his book, Judgment Days” for the Holy Shroud Guild to finance the event. The death threats I received at the event was the reason why Mike Minors had hired two state troopers to protect me. LOL another pun!

        1. Giorgio,

          I knew you knew.

          Did you really sell copies of McCrone’s books at the conference? Can you tell us how many you sold?

  5. Yes I did, all but one book I brought to the event. I had a wonderful conversation with a military chap in the wheel chair (his name escapes me) about McCrone. Also Fr. Kim had me rolling on the floor with his antics about McCrone.

    1. I might as well retell my other McCrone story that is memorable. He gave a presentation at the 1986 Elizabethtown, PA conference. In the question and answer session, I asked him how his putative forger was able to incorporate details that weren’t even discovered for several more hundred years. His answer: “I’m not going to answer that. He just did it.” He just expected people to take his opinion on faith alone.

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