Tweeted Picture for Today

In 1978 thousands showed up early in the morning. Stood in line all day to see Holy Shroud. Now millions with reserved times.

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Too Great to Be a Work of Art

Period. Not period-wise.

imageThanks to Colin Berry for pointing out a recent article in The Spectator by Dominic Selwood entitled If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created.

It concludes (and probably could have started with rather than laboring through so much marginally accurate narrative):

The detailed knowledge of the human body available to modern scientists may be relatively recent, but brilliant, inquisitive, ambitious human minds have always been with us — in the ancient and medieval worlds as much as today. There is no reason to exclude the possibility of an artist experimenting with cadavers in order to understand the physiology of death and post mortem blood flows from wounds. Ancient Greek sculptors were meticulous in their depiction of every vein and artery. In the 1400s, Leonardo da Vinci filled his sketchbooks with anatomical drawings of flayed body parts. Caravaggio reportedly used a drowned prostitute as his model for the ‘Death of the Virgin’ (1606). And Géricault studied dead bodies for his ‘Raft of the Medusa’ (1819). So why should anyone discount the idea that a talented medieval artist went to obsessive lengths to recreate the burial shroud of a crucified man?

And here is where we come face to face with our cultural arrogance, which assumes that because we cannot understand every detail of how the image on the shroud was created, then it could not have been made by people in the past, whom we assume — against all the evidence — were crude and barbarous.

The Turin Shroud does not have to date to the first century to be an object of fascination and inspiration. If it truly is the work of a medieval artist — which the historical, scientific, and visual evidence all suggest it is — then it is a genuine wonder that brings us into the presence of the genius of the medieval world, and gives us insight into an exceptional artistic mind that created one of the most graphic and emotional visualisations ever made of the dreadful injuries that Roman-style execution can inflict on a body.

Stephen Jones did notice the article. On his blog, Stephen correctly criticized some of Selwood’s understanding of the shroud’s history. However, when it came to the carbon dating, Stephen took issue solely with his nutty conspiracy theory about the KGB being involved in a plot to foil the carbon dating of the shroud:

There is much evidence that the laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, allegedly Arizona laboratory physicist, Timothy W. Linick. …

As for it being a “one of the greatest artworks ever created” Stephen throws this out for our consideration.

If those who claim that the Shroud is the work of a medieval artist were consistent, they would press for it to be included among "the greatest artworks ever created." That they don’t shows that they don’t really believe what they say, and they only say it to dismiss the Shroud as authentic, so that, like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, they don’t have to consider that Christianity is true (which it is!).

I can’t buy that kind of outlandish logic from Stephen or anyone.  Selwood could be right. IF – and that is a BIG IF – the shroud is medieval art then it is PERHAPS – and that is a BIG PERHAPS – the greatest artwork ever created. 

I too am entitled to make outlandish arguments.  I think it is too great to be a work of art. Forget Selwood’s crapshoot argument about cultural arrogance. It is too great to be a work of art, period. Not period-wise.

Checking In on Mario Latendresse’s Sindonology Dot Org

Home of the most helpful online Shroud Scope tools for everyone

imageMario, in a posting three days ago, tells us in words and pictures about Lirey:

The first ostentations of the Shroud of Turin in the Western world was in Lirey, a hamlet 16 km south of Troyes, the nearest large city. Lirey is still today a hamlet with a few houses and a 19th century chapel located on the same piece of land where the first chapel was built in 1353. The first ostentation of the Shroud would have been in 1356 or 1357. In 1418, the Shroud leaves the chapel and Lirey to be kept at the Montfort castle under the protection of Humbert de Villersexel. The Shroud never came back to Lirey although the clercs of Lirey tried to regain the Shroud many times over a century. A second chapel was inaugurated in 1525, which was demolished in 1828. A third chapel was built at the end of the 19th century. The following photographs show the inside and outside of this third chapel at Lirey.

There is more. Go look.

A Touch of the Ludicrous for a Tuesday Morning

There is even that curved line on the neck that reminds me of a collar.

imageFirst:  Entertainment critic Kayla Hawkins has some suggestions for a second season of the USA Network’s show Dig with a story premise about an FBI agent in Jerusalem who discovers a 2000 year old plot. She suggests an episode on the Shroud of Turin in season 2 which she describes this way:

Supposedly the Shroud of Turin (many people believe it’s the shroud in which Jesus of Nazareth was buried) defies carbon testing, DNA testing, has a strange indecipherable pattern — what could the real-world meaning be behind this holy object? Even if it dissolves into Da Vinci Code “Jesus’ descendants” nonsense, it will surely be fun.

Now, doesn’t that sound like a television critic.

And Then:  There is a posting that appeared in the Italian language Sacra Sindone blog. What follows is is a Google translation, which in itself is ludicrous:

This is portrait of King Louis IX with his young wife. For me and my mother appears OBVIOUS that the man of the shroud and Religion IX (who died at the age of 56 years) are the SAME PERSON. This portrait of King Louis IX as a young man, has "escaped" to Phil Kingippo beauty, which destroyed all authentic portraits of King Louis IX and made it to the other false, because it was he – because of money -a pass the shroud done with the body of King Louis, to that of Jesus’ . In fact he did kill the Templars because they wanted at all costs to say the truth, and that was the reason that even the Pope Celestine V is bare ‘papal event not to give in to his blackmail; As for the sheet, it may have been made with a type of seaweed that has the characteristic similar to a carbon copy.

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Double Dipping in the Ink Well?

imageShortly after the Shroud Exposition opened in Turin, the story broke that Italian police had created a “forensic” picture of what Jesus looked like as a boy. They used the image on the shroud. The story overshadowed other exposition coverage.  The story made it into big daily papers around the world and into morning and nightly national television news. The picture is from ABC News a few days ago.

I repeated the story after reading about it in The Times (of London) with Computer Generated Young Jesus From Image on Shroud

Here is how Ariel Cohen wrote it up in the Jerusalem Post. It was syndicated out and many big name, high credibility papers like the San Francisco Chronicle repeated it:

Police detectives in Italy claim that they have revealed how Jesus looked as a child based on forensics from his supposed burial cloth.

The Turin Shroud, one of the most famous Christian relics to date, provided the scientists with an approximate image of Jesus’ face on the material. From there, scientists created an image, and reversed the aging process using cutting edge technology to reveal what Christ may have looked like as a young boy.

The scientists used the same technique often employed to capture Italian mafioso who have been on the run for decades. By reducing the size of the jaw, raising the chin and straightening the nose, the replica of Jesus as a boy became clear.

[…]

The digital image was created to go along with the displaying of the Turin Shroud’s two month public display which began this week at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin. Pope Francis is even expected to stop and pray before the cloth on June 21st.

(emphasis mine)

imageDid anyone notice?  Does anyone remember ten years back?  This forensic stuff was a Christmas Day story by Jason Horowitz in the New York Times in 2004. The second picture shown here to the right accompanied that story. (Of course, no one at the Grey Lady realized that this story had nothing to do with Christmas):

ROME, Dec. 25 – Using the same technology that adds wrinkles to the drawings of Mafia bosses to identify them after decades on the lam, the Italian police have shaved years, and a beard, off an image taken from the Shroud of Turin to create what newspapers here this week hailed as the very visage of a young Jesus.

"Here it is, the real face of the baby Jesus," declared the front page of the newspaper Il Giornale. Italy’s largest newspaper, Corriere della Sera, ran a more cautious headline, "Here Is Jesus at Age 12 (According to a Computer)."

Tweet for Today: McShroud a Sign of the Times #McDonalds #Expo2015

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Yannick Clément on Colin Berry’s Latest Hypothesis

imageHe writes in an email:

If we take the question of the image formation without also taking into account the rest of the important data coming from the Shroud, I would say that even if Colin Berry could really produced an image on linen that would show ALL the chemical and physical properties of the Shroud image (I’m 99% certain that he can’t because, among other thing, there is absolutely no color penetration anywhere on the Shroud, which is something no medieval forger using the kind of chemical process he proposed could have rationally achieve), his result would never prove that this is how the Shroud image was formed.  This would only show that the kind of "artificial" process he proposed can produce an image on linen like the Shroud, which is very different than claiming this MUST be the way it was done.

And more importantly, the evidence coming from the bloodstains (which I have summarized in this paper: http://shroudnm.com/docs/2012-07-26-Yannick-Clément-The-evidence-of-the-bloodstains.pdf) would still be there to contradict the idea of a false relic that could have been "artificially" created by a forger.  As I showed in my paper, the blood evidence coming from the Shroud is enough to prove that this cloth is a real burial cloth that has enveloped only for a short period of time a real scourged and crucified man that has been executed with the known historical method that was used by the Roman Empire before the reign of the Emperor Constantine.  In such a context, the ONLY rational hypothesis that could involve a forgery is the one I summarized in the point #1 you can find in page 6, which goes like this: "It is a real burial shroud of someone other than Jesus of Nazareth who suffered the same tortures as he with a forged image done by someone without using any art technique. In this case, a forger “naturally” produced the image while using a real human corpse. Because of the great resemblance between what happen to Jesus in the Gospels, we must assume that this forger did it in order to produce a false relic of the Passion of the Christ. Also, because of the presence of many differences between any known artistic depictions of the Passion of the Christ prior to the first known public exhibition of the Shroud in the 14th century and the bloodstains and the body image that are on the Shroud (for example, the nailing in the wrist instead of in the palms, the wearing of a cap of thorns instead of a crown and the very distinct dumbbell shaped marks of scourging coming from a Roman flagrum), we must assume that if he tortured and crucified himself (with the help of some collaborators), this forger was well aware of the Roman procedures concerning scourging and crucifixion. In fact, it is even more rational to think that this forger used the body of a real crucified victim who was put to death by the Romans, before the crucifixion was banished by the emperor Constantine, in the last years of his reign that ended in 337. We also have to assume that this forger took the dead body out of the shroud before it started to corrupt in such a way that this extraction did not disturb the bloodstains, never broke the linen fibrils under them and did not disturb the body image. In sum, this scenario can be described like a “natural” forgery using a real tortured and crucified body. And whether or not the forger knew that he would obtain a body image on the cloth, along with the bloodstains, is not completely clear. In fact, the formation of an image like that could have well been just an accident."

If Berry (or anyone else) still wants to defend the idea of a forgery while remaining rational, I urge him to think seriously of what I just said and to try to find a way to produce a Shroud-like image with the use of biological products that could have been released inside the Shroud shortly after death by a highly-traumatized human corpse that had been scourged and crucified. In my mind, that would certainly be much more interesting than seeing him constantly trying to produce at all cost a Shroud-like image with the use of a man-made technique, while completely leaving aside (or at the very least, not considering seriously) the crucial evidence coming from the bloodstains…

Picture for Today: Getting Ready for the Shroud Exhibition in 1931

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Source:  L’ISOLA DI PATMOS blog

Colin Berry’s Method and 3D Information

it is presumptive to think the 3D information represents cloth-to-body distance.
It is presumptive because you must have a method in mind

clip_image001A reader writes:

Colin Berry’s method may provide synthetic cloth to body information represented by varying color density for close together body features such as fingers beside each other. It cannot provide proper relative spatial information for disparate features related to each other at a distance such as the tip of the nose and the outer edge of each cheek.  Dr. Berry’s method cannot generate the sort of spatial information we see in Petrus Soon’s 3D renditions.

You are possibly right that Colin’s method cannot produce meaningful, relative 3D information for “disparate features related to each other at a distance.”  That seems obvious when looking at his method. But is that 3D information really contained in the shroud image in the sense you suggest? Does it represent reality?

1) I’m still not convinced that the 3D information represents cloth-to-body distance. It works out, it seems to me, to somehow represent body shape but it is presumptive to think the 3D information represents cloth-to-body distance. It is presumptive because you must have a method in mind to even suggest it.

 2)  I certainly have serious reservations about the 3D work undertaken by Petrus Soons.  I suspect that the real 3D information on the shroud is more like what we see with ImageJ, the VP8 and John Jackson’s 3D corrugated cardboard plot exhibited at the U.S. Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado.

Might Colin’s method produce that kind of 3D data? I don’t think so, “synthetic” or otherwise. But I don’t know that. I think we need to wait and see.

Colin Berry Has It All Figured Out, Sort Of, Maybe

You’ve got to love the experimentation and impressive results so far

imageColin Berry gives this lengthy title to a blog postings over at his Science Buzz blog: The chemical principles behind the iconic Turin Shroud can now be explained. All that remains is to produce a look-alike copy. Then he goes on to say:

It’s taken over 3 years of almost non-stop experimentation, but this blogger/retired science bod is now able to explain how the faint negative image of the Turin Shroud was obtained (as a feat of medieval technology, aided by alchemists).

The task: produce a contact image that could be claimed to be that left by the crucified Jesus on Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’.

It’s incredibly simple in principle (why didn’t I think of it sooner?):

1. Paint an adult human male (alive or dead) with an organic paste …

2. Press linen against the subject (or subject against linen) …

3. Develop the image chemically….

[…]

So I maintain that the plausible science is established – at least in principle-  so far as producing a negative  sepia 2D image from imprinting off a 3D subjectis concerned.  Whether it matches all the additional or peculiar characteristics of the TS image (extreme superficiality, lack of reverse side image, lack of uv fluorescence, microscopic characteristics etc.) remains to be seen. However,let’s insert a note of caution: not all those listed characteristics were necessarily there immediately after image formation, regardless of age – centuries or millennia. Some of those characteristics may be a result of ageing. At present it seems sensible to adopt a broad-brush approach, attempting to accommodate  only those ‘headline’ characteristics of the TS that have led to its being described as iconic or enigmatic. Where the latter are concerned, the prize for the most ‘iconic’ must surely go to the pioneering 1898 photography by Secondo Pia, which converted the Shroud negative back into a positive (by innocently treating the TS as a positive and convereting to a negative!).

James Randi Visits the Shroud of Turin

imageFrom the Facebook page of James Randi, famed magician, arch-skeptic of all things supernatural and mentor to Joe Nickell, we have this picture and accompanying text:

I just returned from a great trip to Italy, and this time I was there when the fabulous "Shroud of Turin" was again being displayed to the eagerly gullible. Massimo took me to see it.

This huge rag — so thoroughly and authoritatively discredited by experts as even originating during the life of Christ — was guarded every 15 feet or so by garishly-costumed volunteers who glowered at me, perhaps because I so resembled a rabbi, but since the terrain was very bumpy I was given a wheelchair and was thereby had a very close-up view of the relic. In fact, I sat immediately beneath it, but found that I was far more fascinated by the hushed faithful who stood in reverent silence before it as the commentary droned on.

I must thank Roberta Baria for taking many photos and keeping me company. It was the first time I’d had a chance to see this fascinating object. and so very up close. I found the experience very interesting indeed…

New Book by Stephen Mattingly Proposes Image Mechanism

imageA newly published book by long-time shroud researcher Stephen J. Mattingly was released yesterday, May 7, 2015. It is available at Amazon.com.  The paperback book, How Skin Bacteria Created the Image on the Shroud of Turin is available for $15.00. No other formats such as Kindle have been announced.

The description of the book on Amazon reads:

The hypothesis is that bacteria from the skin of Jesus grew at unusually high levels during his crucifixion and left their excess on the linen surface after the Shroud was removed from the body. Everything that occurred during the crucifixion was essential to producing his image on the Shroud. All the pieces had to fall in place at just the right time. Science and Scripture agree beautifully with the crucifixion of Jesus. They seamlessly weave their combined data points into the linen fabric that we know as the Shroud of Turin.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1511663588
  • ISBN-13: 978-1511663588
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces

image  Hat tip to Joe Marino

A Folding Method Charles Freeman Might Accept

Click on the image to see how it is done in steps 1 through 5

clip_image001[4]Stephen Jones, back in September of 2012, wrote:

A commenter on Dan Porter’s Shroud of Turin blog pointed out what I had previously realised, but had forgotten, that Dan’s "Tetradiplon" graphic illustrating how the Shroud of Turin, when "four-doubled" (Greek tetradiplon), with Jesus’ face uppermost, results in Jesus’ face only within a rectangle, in landscape aspect (exactly as in the oldest copies of the Image of Edessa), has a flaw in that it only shows three doublings of the Shroud (see above).

Even Ian Wilson’s illustrations of this in his books (e.g. "The Evidence of the Shroud," 1986, p.113; "Holy Faces, Secret Places," 1991, p.142; "The Blood and the Shroud," 1998, p.153; "The Turin Shroud," 2000, p.111; and "The Shroud," 2010, p.141), show the Shroud doubled only three times.

But some months ago I cut out a photo of the Shroud and proved to myself that the Shroud can be doubled four times in such a way that it results in Jesus’ face in a rectangular segment of the cloth, in landscape aspect,exactly as it is in early copies of the Image of Edessa. Here I will show how it can be done, in what is a reasonable way to fold a long cloth, minimising strain at its fold edges.

Stephen goes on to say:

This is consistent with major foldlines at one-eighth intervals, found on the Shroud by Dr John Jackson from raking light photographs of the Shroud taken in 1978 by the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP).

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Major New Book by Giulio Fanti and Pierandrea Malfi

Being published in English

imageScheduled to be released on June 30, Turin Shroud: First Century after Christ by Giulio Fanti  and Pierandrea Malfi may now be pre-ordered at Amazon.com.  The price for this 500 page, hardcover book is $79.95. No other formats such as Kindle have been announced.

The description of the book at Amazon reads:

The Turin Shroud is the most important and studied relic in the world. Many papers on it have recently appeared in important scientific journals. Scientific studies on the relic until today fail to provide conclusive answers about the identity of the enveloped man and the dynamics regarding the image formation impressed therein. This book not only addresses these issues in a scientific and objective manner but also leads the reader through new search paths. It summarizes the results in a simple manner for the reader to comprehend easily. Many books on the theme have been already published, but none of them contains such a quantity of scientific news and reports. The most important of them is the following: the result of the 1988 radiocarbon dating is statistically wrong and other three new dating methods demonstrate that the Shroud has an age compatible with the epoch in which Jesus Christ lived in Palestine. A numismatic analysis performed on Byzantine gold coins confirms this result. This book is, therefore, very important with respect to the Turin Shroud. It is unique in its genre and a very useful tool for those who want to study the subject deeply.


The following Table of Contents is not included on the Amazon site. It was furnished by an anonymous reader of this blog.

 

Part 1: Description and Traces of the Sheet that Challenges Science

  • The Shroud: an identikit
  • Historical evidence
  • Numismatic investigation
    Part 2: The Fascinating Dating Quest

  • Radiocarbon "distraction"
  • Journey of a flax thread
  • Inquiries into alternative chemical dating
  • The Mechanical Multi-Parametric Dating Method
    Part 3: Something More about the Shroud

  • Shroud samples spread for scientific research
  • Recent and future developments
  • Additional questions and answers

Conclusion

Appendix: Notes for more interested readers


Book Details from the Amazon site:

  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Stanford (June 30, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9814669121
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814669122
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds

Charles Freeman on Tetradiplon and the Video on shroud.com

imageHe wrote in a comment a few hours ago:

… Someone please tell Ian Wilson so that he can revise his text for any new edition of the Shroud. This should go along with his correction of the illustration of tetradiplon as you cannot translate it as ’doubled in four’ alongside an illustration showing it doubled to make eight ( alas a mistake repeated in the video that Barrie has just posted).

Better leave out the tetradiplon issue altogether as it only refers to the cloth BEFORE Christ wiped his face with it and there is no indication in the text that it was refolded as such afterwards. Having ploughed my way through 150 examples of Greek words where tetra was added, the most likely translation is doubled four times- which is exactly the way they folded the Parthenon cloth as seen in the Parthenon frieze in The British Museum. But that would cut through the face of the Man on the Shroud and so would destroy Wilson’s argument. Better just to edit all this out to save Wilson further loss of credibility among the Byzantine experts.

Click on the image or follow this link:  http://www.shroud.com/videos/tetradiplon.mp4 to see the video. It’s pretty short.

At the Heart of the Shroud Exposition is a Great Mystery

Doubtless Pope Francis will have some arresting and unexpected things to say
when he arrives next month. . . .

imageThe Economist’s blog, Erasmus: Religion and Public Policy has published what I think may be so far the best exposition-time article on the shroud. The Shroud of Turin: Both visible and hidden is fair, perhaps more so than I unfairly expected when I began to read it:

And at the heart of all this activity is a great mystery. The last few popes have spoken of the shroud with awe and encouraged people to contemplate it, but the Vatican has in recent years avoided any pronouncement on whether the cloth really is the one that covered Jesus. In 1988, carbon-dating tests were carried out in laboratories in three countries, and concluded that the fabric had been constructed in the 13th or 14th century; it was a medieval fake. But believers in the shroud’s authenticity point to countervailing evidence: traces of pollen from plants found only in the east Mediterranean, for example. It has been argued that extraneous matter, or radioactivity, could have skewed the carbon-dating results.

To the naked eye, images of the front and back of a slim, dignified man are only dimly visible. But in certain ways, the picture on the Shroud has become more accessible over the past century or so, as it has been subjected to different forms of photographic analysis, and the three-dimensional qualities of the image have been studied. The image does correspond with the Biblical account of a man who was lashed all over his body with a particular kind of whip, commonly used in Roman times, and crowned with thorns which caused heavy bleeding. It also looks clear that the victim was hung up to die after nails were driven through his wrists, not his palms as most religious art would have it. If this was a forgery, it was an ingenious and anatomically intelligent one.

Do read it:  The Shroud of Turin: Both visible and hidden

CIS Conference Program

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It’s on the new update to shroud.com: The Official Program of the Conference of the Centro Internazionale di Sindonologia (C.I.S.)

A few very interesting topics. It would be nice to see the papers or the PowerPoint’s or the whatevers. 

You can click on the image to see a full size PDF of the program.

Barrie has also posted a copy of the invitation letter.

For media coverage about this conference in this blog see:

The Experts of the Shroud
in Conference

Shroud and Sudarium
Blood Agreement

Book Review of the John Klotz’s The Coming of the Quantum Christ

imageIt is a MUST READ, Jack Markwardt’s insightful book review of The Coming of the Quantum Christ—The Shroud of Turin and the Apocalypse of Selfishness by John Klotz.

It’s a must read from the first sentence . . .

Readers drawn to literary efforts which provide both intellectual stimulation and eclectic variety will undoubtedly enjoy The Coming of the Quantum Christ—The Shroud of Turin and the Apocalypse of Selfishness, a delightful concoction blended by its author, John Klotz, from such disparate ingredients as the environment, quantum mechanics, and a world-famous relic.

. . . to the last . . .

In doing so, he has effectively thrown a gauntlet at the feet of his skeptical adversaries, challenging them either to concede that the renowned relic is indeed genuine or to submit a counter-closing argument, based upon relevant probative evidence, which not only establishes its medieval origin but also explains the manner in which its mysterious image was created.


With this review, John Klotz is offering a 15% discount for online purchases of his printed book as a special savings for viewers of shroud.com. You need a special code that will allow you to order the book from Create Space (an Amazon Company) for $39.94 (plus shipping).  No, I can’t tell you what the code is. Proper Netiquette demands that I link to the appropriate page at shroud.com. CLICK HERE for that page.

This review and discount offer is part of today’s Spring Update of shroud.com.

Pictures for Today

As part of a Spring Update of shroud.com today, Barrie Schwortz is offering a special picture essay named, Turin 2015 by Aldo Guerreschi (4 page printable PDF file).

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Click on the thumbnail image above to view the PDF

CLICK HERE for more on this major Spring Update

Ray Downing Writes

imageHe writes:

We have a new website dedicated to pictures of Jesus generated from the computer graphics model we created for the Real Face of Jesus programs.

While these images do not advance investigation into the Shroud beyond what we posited in our films, they do attempt to connect emotionally and respectfully with the central figure of Christianity.

If you have a moment, please visit our new site and we hope you like it.

 

http://www.jesuspicturesbydowning.com

Embarrassed Left: Medieval Shroud of Turin Presented to Gullible Masses

Majorettes in Prada-like gear, politicized puppies, even acrobats  &  

shabby rural Catholics who have shown up to adore the Shroud of Turin


clip_image001Indicative, perhaps, of how little anybody cared about it, it took until May 4th for the Huffington Post to cover May Day in Milan and Turin. If that wasn’t enough not-enough, what happened to have not happened was.  Jasmina Tesanovic tells us:

Early in the morning, the traditional May Day demonstration hour for the Turin working class, dark rumor was spreading: Milan is going to go wild, riots just like Baltimore.  A mother confessed: My daughter crept out early this morning to protest against the EXPO in Milan, and I am so worried. Not that I approve of the Expo, but  those protests nowadays run out of control. Yet somebody has to protest.  I used to do it  myself.  It’s her turn now.

Milan? Well:

In downtown Milan, some shops were smashed, banks were trashed and cars were burned. Nobody died, though there were injuries and arrests.  This was classic domestic Italian political violence.  Nobody but Italians is at all upset about Milan staging a big world exposition….

… the next day the Milanese spontaneously cleaned up their city’s riot mess, and life went on, more or less….

Turin?  Well, that is another non-story:

In the Turin May Day demonstrations, all the demonstrators seemed to have found or invented ingenious badges, T-shirts, slogans, or insignia, probably to distinguish themselves from the crowds of pious, shabby rural Catholics who have shown up to adore the Shroud of Turin.  The May Day parade in Turin was quite a show, with beautiful  royal squares and boulevards covered with dignified walking bands, with elegant flag bearers and majorettes in Prada-like gear, politicized puppies, even acrobats. The wary police also sported exotic insignia, with specialized antiterrorist troops, the Alpini mountain battalions, even civilian volunteers in emergency orange gear. 

Turin finds it rather difficult to riot when the city plays host to the pious faithful: the miracle-seekers, desperate souls, youthful catechism classes fresh off the church bus, people on crutches, the sick and the stricken, the people in wheelchairs… Even the Pope is scheduled to show up. He’s rather popular.  No one wants to upset Francis.

Of course a certain "No Expo" sentiment is also present in Torino — it embarrasses the Left that the medieval Shroud of Turin is presented to the gullible masses, a commercialized fake, a literal relic.   But Faith is as blind as Love, and scolding a Shroud true-believer is like telling him his girlfriend is ugly: it just won’t help anything, so why be rude.  This is Italy, after all.

Tweeted Picture for Today: Are We There Yet? Almost!

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