Fra Giovanni Angelico’s ‘Lamentation’ to be Displayed with the Shroud

imageThe Italian News Agency, Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) is reporting, in its English syndication feed that Beato Angelico’s ‘Lamentation’ is to be displayed with the Turin Shroud:

The recently restored Lamentation, depicting weeping mourners wrapping Christ’s body in the Shroud, has been loaned by the Museum of San Marco in Florence to enhance visitors’ experience in Turin.

The painting, which had been damaged by rain when a tornado hit Florence last September, will be displayed from Thursday through June 30.

A special mobile app through Google Play or Apple, offers viewers an audio guide narrated by Timothy Verdon, director of the Duomo museum in Florence, illuminates the panel which was painted between 1441 and 1442.

Experts suggest that Fra Angelico likely saw the Turin shroud before he painted the Lamentation panel, with the result an intense rendering of the moments after Christ’s crucifixion.

Click on the above image. I have provided a 3200 bit wide copy of a photograph of the painting.

Recent Books on the Shroud of Turin

I recommend the following three books for their wealth of information and factual content. In order:

image imageimage image image  Jeromes Corsi’s novel, The Shroud Codex;

image imageimage image image  Robert K. Wilcox’s, The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery

image imageimage image       Ian Wilson’s, The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved.

image  Regrettably I must suggest you avoid John Lupia’s, The Ancient Jewish Shroud at Turin. Though pro-authenticity, it is complete nonsense.


image image 


Big Recommendation: The Shroud Codex

image Jerome Corsi, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, was kind enough to send me an advance copy of his latest book, The Shroud Codex. Simon and Shuster, the publisher, sent me a copy, as well. Would I write a review? Would I recommend the book to others? Well, that depends. I must read the book first and then think about it. So . . .

Buy it now. Read it now. You have options: You can buy the hardcover version of the book in a bookstore or order it from an online retailer like Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Borders. If you have a Kindle, iPhone or iPad, you can buy the Kindle version of the book at Amazon and be reading it in three minutes. If you prefer, you can buy a different digital version directly from the Simon and Shuster website. If you are like me and like to listen to books while walking the dog in the park, you can buy an audio book version at or other dealers.

The Shroud Codex is a novel, but a novel you can learn from. Just as you can learn a great deal of history from well-written historical novels, you can learn a great deal about the Shroud of Turin from The Shroud Codex. If you know everything there is to know about the Shroud, it is still a wonderfully gripping, enjoyable novel. Read it for fun. You will be glad you did.

After writing a review I went to the web to read other reviews. There are not many yet since the book was just released yesterday. But what I found was completely positive. One review said what I had to say so much better than I could do so that I decided to quote from it and throw away what I wrote. Jean Heimann in Catholic Fire wrote:

The Shroud Codex is a compelling and intriguing mystery, which mesmerizes the reader from the very first page. It is a book that is hard to put down, as the reader is driven to learn the truth about the Shroud of Turin and the impact that it has on the lives of the characters.

What seems most interesting and unique to me about The Shroud Codex is the fact that it contains a variety of genres, thus, making it appealing to a wide audience. It could be included in all of the following categories: religion and spirituality, history, science, science fiction, the paranormal, and mystery. Because of this, I believe that it will attract believers as well as non—believers alike who want to learn more about this ancient, fragile, bloodstained cloth, that many believe to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

Will Corsi once again make it to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List? He should.

Real Face of Jesus is History Channel’s Best Seller

The History Channel (or simply HISTORY, as they now prefer to be called) often gets a bad rap as the channel of such shows as “Ice Road Truckers” and “Ax Men.” But when it comes to DVD sales, the documentaries that they produce that get the best acclaim are the best sellers. Read the list of the top ten sellers as of this morning. It is quite astounding that the “The Real Face of Jesus?” about the Shroud of Turin is the number one best seller. Well, maybe it isn’t. It is estimated that well over seven million people saw the show within the past two weeks. HISTORY broadcast it at least five times in North America. Buyers of the DVD have given the show a 4.9 stars out of a possible 5 stars and almost all gave it 5 stars. Only six people gave it 4 stars and no one gave it less than that.  (If you want to rate it, you need to buy the DVD. This avoids stacking the deck, a problem that persists at Amazon).

  1. The Real Face of Jesus? DVD: Join HISTORY in this two-hour television event, as the Shroud of Turin is put on public display for the first time in 10 years. New data reveals more than just a flat image embedded in the ancient cloth, but an astonishing, three-dimensional, sculpture-like figure. Using the principles… Buy the DVD
  2. Special Presentation: How the States Got Their Shape DVD
  3. The Presidents DVD
  4. WWII in HD DVD Set
  5. The States & The Presidents DVD Set
  6. America The Story of Us DVD Set
  7. How the Earth Was Made: The Complete Season 1 DVD Set
  8. The World At War: Collector’s Edition DVD Set
  9. The Universe: The Complete Season 4 DVD Set
  10. History Channel Presents: The War of 1812 DVD Set

Press Release from Performance Films: New Shroud DVD from David Rolfe

Performance Films are pleased to announce the successful delivery of their new film made at the request of the Committee for the Exposition of the Shroud of Turin commencing April 10th 2010 for 6 weeks.

The 45minute film (available in HD and DVD) is simply entitled “Shroud” and tells the stories that new discoveries have revealed. New historical discoveries show how the Shroud first heard of in the gospels came to arrive in Turin via the ancient city of Edessa and Constantinople It is a fascinating journey. The writer is Ian Wilson, author of the newly published book by Bantam of the same name.

A centrepiece of the film is a new visual analysis of the images that reveals the full extent of the 3D information that is encoded in the image. Producer and director, David Rolfe, said, “We have kept faith with the information on the cloth to produce a digitally sculpted representation. The new and persuasive scientific and historical research presented in the film makes it more than likely that what we are looking at here is an accurate depiction of Christ laid out in death.”

Rolfe won a BAFTA for his first film on the Subject – The Silent Witness in 1978. In 2008 he brought things more uptodate with a film for the BBC and sold internationally presented by Rageh Omaar. Turin granted Performance Films the exclusive privilege of new filming of the cloth in HD.

The film is available in Turin on DVD and soon as a download from and Amazon.

A broadcast quality video clip of the 3D image of the Man in the Shroud is available by download as well as still images. Please contact Performance Films for more information.

Available in English, Italian, Spanish, French, German and Portuguese. Tel: 01494 678484 or 07831 335577.

Issued: 10:00am 07/04/2010 (April 7, 2010)

No Joke: An iPhone Shroud of Turin Application at Apple’s Online Store


No, we are not kidding; you can download a Shroud of Turin iPhone application developed by and Intermundia. It is being offered to the public by Apple at their iPhone and iPad Application Store. It is called iSindone. It provides dozens of YouTube videos, articles about the Shroud and a high-resolution photograph of the Holy Shroud with scroll and finger-zoom function. There are helpful details for seeing the Shroud between April 10 and May 23 and a special section on Benedict XVI’s planned visit on May 2nd. I downloaded it to my iPhone. All I can say at this point is that it works.

The not so rational rationalists

Nick Pisa in the Mail reports:

In an alternative exhibition the Italian Union of Athesits (sic) and Rational Agnostics will put on display the ‘Second Shroud’, which they say proves the one in Turin is a Middle Ages forgery.

The Shroud is expected to have 2 million visitors including the pope. The second shroud will have how many. And tell me how by faking a shroud, as the Italian Union of Atheists and Rational Agnostics, have done, proves that the possible real shroud is a fake. It is like faking the Mona Lisa to prove that the real one is a fake. All it proves is that these folks are not “Rational.” Whole story at Turin Shroud to go on display for the fifth time | Mail Online

What is bigger: The Shroud showing in Turin or the History Channel in the US?

The Daily Mirror in the UK is telling us that attendance at the Shroud of Turin exposition in Turin, April 10-May 23, 2010, may reach four million – that is the latest estimate. Wow!

But, the article goes on to stay that this is not the big story. The big story is the History Channel presentation in the U.S. of “The Real Face of Jesus” in which Ray Downing attempted to produce a 3D rendering of Jesus from data on the Shroud.

The Mirror goes on to say:

Attempts to date the relic have been inconclusive. A 1978 study found no evidence that the shroud was a fake and concluded it was "a mystery". But it was condemned as a forgery in 1988 after carbon-dating tests by researchers in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona, estimated it was made between 1260 and 1390.

In 1999, another group put a 7th century date on it. And in the same year a Jerusalem botanist reported that pollen grains on the shroud were from plants found only in the Holy Land.

In 2005, American chemist Dr Raymond Rogers, considered a shroud authority, claimed it was between 1,300 and 3,000 years old and argued earlier tests were inaccurate because they were carried out on patches of material added to the sheet by nuns in the Middle Ages.

Actually there is a mistake in the last sentence above. The writer is confusing the theoretical repair proposed by Rogers and others with the crude patches sewn on by nuns following fire damage.

Other than that one mistake, this a good story in the Mirror.

Breaking News – Two Hour Special on the History Channel: The Real Face of Jesus from the Shroud of Turin

PRESS RELEASE from History (History Channel)


Premieres Tuesday, March 30, 8-10pm ET/PT

Premieres Tuesday, March 30, 9-11pm ET/PT (Corrected Time)

New York, NY, March 18, 2010 – On Tuesday, MARCH 30, 8-10pm ET/PT, HISTORY(TM) will premiere a very special two-hour event, a quest no one has ever before attempted – come along for this thrilling journey as a team of graphic experts seeks to bring to life the image contained on the holy relic many believe to be Jesus’ shroud. Will the team’s work reveal THE REAL FACE OF JESUS?

For the devout and curious alike, this documentary feature may bring us the closest we have ever come to seeing what Jesus actually looked like.

Science and religion join together, bringing cutting-edge computer technology to an ancient stretch of fabric, and creating a living, moving 3D image of the man many believe to be Jesus Christ.

The starting point of this journey is an ancient 14-foot linen cloth known as the Shroud of Turin, believed by millions to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. Imprinted on the fabric is a faint, ghostly image of a crucified man. The question of whether this man is or is not Jesus has been debated for centuries. But when 3D computer graphics artist Ray Downing decided to use today’s most sophisticated electronic tools and software to recreate the face of Jesus, the Shroud of Turin is the first place he turned.

While there have been many documentaries about the shroud, most have centered on the shroud’s authenticity. HISTORY’s THE REAL FACE OF JESUS? presents something very different: an attempt to reveal the image embedded in the fibers of the fabric, to turn the faint, unfocused, two-dimensional image into a living, moving, 3D creation – if they are successful, this may be the most accurate depiction ever made of the man many believe to be Jesus Christ.

HISTORY worked with CG artist Ray Downing of Studio Macbeth to attempt this reconstruction. Downing and his team are not strangers to CG resurrection – they brought back the person of Abraham Lincoln using CG reconstruction techniques for the Lincoln bicentennial. However, in recreating Lincoln Downing had the luxury of working from over 100 photographs, while the Shroud of Turin is a single faint image on cloth, covered with blood, dirt, water stains, burn holes and other distortions.

As the starting point for a 3D model of Jesus, the Shroud provides an amazing advantage: the image of the man is mysteriously encoded with three-dimensional information. An astonishing discovery was made in 1976, and a property no other painting or artwork has — “The presence of 3D information encoded in a 2D image is quite unexpected, as well as unique,” says Downing. “It is as if there is an instruction set inside a picture for building a sculpture.” But can today’s technology and man’s skill in using it build this sculpture, resurrecting the man in the shroud for all to see?

The encoding of 3D information onto an ancient piece of cloth has fascinated believers and skeptics alike, not least among them John Jackson, a professor of Physics at the University of Colorado. In 1978, Jackson led a team of American scientists which was given exclusive access to the cloth for five days of intensive scientific examination. Jackson has continued his analysis of that data until the present time. In late 2009, Downing and HISTORY traveled to Jackson’s Turin Shroud Center in Colorado to learn more about the science of the cloth from the man who has studied it first-hand. But despite decades of intense scientific investigation, the mechanism underlying the mysterious encoding of this three dimensional data within the Shroud remains elusive. Against the background of Shroud history and information, HISTORY’s team is seen grappling with the faint Shroud image to wrestle out the hidden face within.

Coaxing the image from the cloth proves to be no easy task. After months of work, a breakthrough: Downing focuses on the fact that the cloth would have been wrapped around the face of the man buried beneath. (The Mona Lisa would look quite different if DaVinci’s canvas had been wrapped around his model’s head.) In THE REAL FACE OF JESUS? Downing is able to account for that distortion in the image and remove it, leaving an accurate, undistorted, never-before-seen, moving 3D portrait of the image presented on the Shroud of Turin.

Finally, HISTORY is ready to present to viewers a face both hidden and preserved in time. But for Downing, there are two stories here. “There is the story of the Shroud which, artistically and scientifically, is the story of a transition from two dimensional to three dimensional. But there is as well the story of the man in the Shroud, and a record of His transformation from death to life”, Downing observes, “The two stories are intertwined, they seem to be one and the same”.

Permanently stored and out of public view, this year The Shroud of Turin will have its first public exhibition in 10 years. Between April 10 and May 23, 2010, millions of people from all over the world are expected to visit it at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. According to the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit the Shroud on May 2, 2010.

THE REAL FACE OF JESUS? is produced by Left/Right in conjunction with Studio Macbeth for HISTORY. Executive Producer is Ken Druckerman, co-Producer is Ray Downing. HISTORY Executive Producer is Carl H. Lindahl.

HISTORY(TM) and HISTORY HD(TM) are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event-driven specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network’s program offerings are hit series such as Ax Men, Battle 360, How The Earth Was Made, Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars and The Universe, as well as acclaimed specials including 102 Minutes That Changed America, 1968 with Tom Brokaw, King, Life After People, Nostradamus: 2012, Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed and WWII in HD. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy(R) Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy(R) Awards and received the prestigious Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network’s Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network’s latest initiative connecting America’s schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY web site, located at, is the definitive historical online source that delivers entertaining and informative content featuring broadband video, interactive timelines, maps, games, podcasts and more.

The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery – Exciting New Book


From the pen of Robert K. Wilcox, author of Shroud published by Macmillan in 1997, we now have a new book, The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery. The scuttlebutt is that it is well-researched, accurate and easy to read. Published by Regnery Publishing, Inc., the countries leading publisher of conservative books, this 262 page book should be a non-fiction bestseller, if not the 2010 bestseller, among Shroud of Turin books.

It is available at 1) Amazon, 2) Barnes & Noble, 3) Borders and 4) bookstores everywhere. The good news, too, is that it is in stock and available for next-day delivery if you order online.

More good news is that you can get the book for your Kindle and other electronic book readers as well.  The bad news is that you must wait until tomorrow, March 9 for the Kindle edition. I ordered it from Amazon for my iPhone but must wait until after midnight tonight to start reading it electronically.

The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery

  • $16.95 for trade size (6×9) 262 pages. In stock everywhere.
  • $9.95 for Kindle and iPhone and Apple iPad. (March 9)

Likely Shroud of Turin Bestseller

imageFrom the five-times New York Times bestselling author, Jerome R. Corsi, whose book The Obama Nation was #1 for a month and on the New York Times list for ten weeks, comes a novel about the Shroud of Turin: The Shroud Codex. Published by Simon & Shuster (available April 13, 2010), this book is certain to be another bestseller.

From a Simon & Shuster press release:

After a priest suffers a near-death experience, he is given a new purpose in life—to unravel the codex hidden within the Shroud of Turin.

A horrific car crash puts Father Paul Bartholomew’s life in jeopardy, until he is given a second chance at life – but not without a divine sine qua non. He must endure three years of intensive rehabilitation before being given thirty days to bring the message behind the Shroud of Turin to humanity. While saying Mass on the first day that he is well enough to return to his church, Father Bartholomew experiences what can only be described as a stigmata. Soon thereafter, he begins to look remarkably like the figure of Jesus Christ on the Shroud of Turin.

As word of the priest’s supposed miracles spreads, the Vatican launches an investigation to make sure the astounding transformation isn’t an elaborate hoax. Soon, Father Bartholomew is being examined and analyzed by Dr. Stephen Castle, a prominent New York City psychiatrist and atheist who has built an international reputation arguing that religion is a figment of human imagination that causes all war and suffering. He is aided by a religious researcher and a chemist who has made a career of debunking supposed miracles. Yet even the team of researchers and experts must admit there are things they can’t rationalize. As the investigation widens to include origins of the Shroud of Turin itself, each man is forced to face mysteries of faith that cannot be explained by sheer reason alone.

Inspired by his lifelong interest in what is surely the most famous of religious relics, Jerome R. Corsi delves into the history and science of the Shroud and takes believing and non-believing readers on an unforgettable journey of possibilities.

The hardcover edition will retail for $26.00, however, you can pre-order the book at for $17.16. Do so.

As soon as possible, I will provide a review of the book.

krissthesexyatheist trying to debunk the Shroud of Turin by faith

Kriss, I have no issue with your atheism or agnosticism when it comes to the historical existence of Jesus. On these matters I respectfully disagree. What I do have a problem with is your use of facts.

You wrote:

According Gary Vikan carbon 14 dating shows, “it could not possibly have come into contact with the historical Jesus (if there ever was a historical Jesus-I’m agnostic on that).”

You might want to review the science on this matter. It is now widely recognized that the carbon dating must be considered invalid. Ray Rogers, who had accepted the carbon dating, decided to disprove a crazy explanation from what he called the lunatic fringe. The crazy idea was that the Shroud had been mended and the samples were from that mending job. What Rogers discovered was that the crazy idea seemed to be right. He concluded that the sample used for carbon dating was not representative of the cloth. It was chemically different. Moreover, one of the chemical differences, the amount of vanillin, provided a new clue about the cloth’s age. Samples from the main part of the cloth, unlike the carbon 14 sample area, did not contain any vanillin. If the shroud was only as old as the radiocarbon date, it would have plentiful vanillin.  The Shroud was at least twice as old. It might be 2000 years old. After a lengthy peer review process, his findings that the carbon dating was wholly invalid were published in the scientific journal Thermochimica Acta.

Rogers’ published work showing that the carbon dating is invalid has been confirmed by John L Brown, a forensic materials specialist at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia and by Robert Villarreal and a team of nine scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The Shroud first appeared in 1357 and was in possession of French nobleman Geofrey de Charnay. Bishop of Troyes, Henri of Poitiers, believed it to be a fake, why, because the artist that claimed to make it told him so.

There is not a single shred of historical evidence other than the claim by Pierre d’Arcis that Henri of Poitiers ever thought so. No 30 years passed. You can’t write history this way and you should know better.

30 years pass, and in 1389 Henri’s successor, Pierre d’Archis states, “The Shroud is a product of human handiwork.” Although the Pope at the time allowed the Shroud to be displayed, he did so with caution and only if a priest were present to acknowledge that the Shroud is Not the true burial cloth of Jesus.

The consensus of many historians is that Pierre d’Archis was referring to a painted copy then on display. Many other papers at the time (historians need to consider all sources) dispute the Bishop’s claim. You are resorting to cafeteria style pick and choose history. Actually the claim was a forger had painted the shroud, not merely that it was handiwork, which brings us to the next point. You wrote:

Walter C McCrowe, in biblical Archaeology Review (Nov/Dec 98), “I concluded in two papers…that the Shroud was painted in 1355.” Other papers confirmed the results with X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray determination and carbon dating. The Shroud was produced around 1355.

You have all this wrong. The “X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray determination” you mention as well as visible and ultraviolet spectrometry, infrared spectrometry and pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry, laser-­microprobe Raman analyses, and microchemical testing show no evidence of pigments or media. Even McCrone’s own employees proved McCrone wrong. See Didn’t Ray Rogers provide a definitive answer about paint?  BTW: Carbon dating can’t tell us if McCrone’s claims of inorganic compounds (paint) exist.

You wrote:

Rev. Lino Otero, “Our search for the truth is guided by faith.” And that is the problem. Faith is has already come to it’s conclusion. Conformation bias will skew the results because of preconceived beliefs. Where is the scientific method and the search for the truth? It is nowhere if faith is the guide.

Good grief. Faith is not incompatible with scientific method or the search for truth. Faith, of course, does not provide observations, facts or measurements in the pursuit of science, but it can be a guiding principle. Don’t confuse faith with blind faith.

He went on to write:

One million tickets have been sold for the April 10-May 23 viewing of the original Shroud in Italy.

No. Wrong again. The tickets are free. The showing of the shroud will be very costly for the archdiocese of Turin.

The Vatican has not taken an official stance on whether the Shroud is authentic or not; but I’m sure that they do know that pilgrimages will bring in big money-for the original Shroud and its replicas. Why do believers still flock to see an unauthentic icon that has been debunked several times over, from a church that has lied and hurt society several times over-cognitive dissonance.

Because the debunkers have been debunked and so far have not been able to produce scientifically or historically sustainable arguments. Your arguments seem to be guided mostly by your faith.

See krissthesexyatheist: Debunking the Shroud of Turin, Again.

Shroud of Turin exhibition committee Video

The video HERE from the Shroud Exhibition Committee is being billed at YouTube as a response to another video, Restauración de la Sábana Santa (2002) & M. Flury-Lemberg. In reality, it is a defense of the very controversial 2002 restoration. Archaeologists, chemists and other shroud researchers have condemned the restoration for being potentially destructive to the cloth and particularly to archaeological and scientific studies of the shroud.

For a comprehensive criticism of the restoration see William Meacham’s book, The Rape of The Shroud. I agree with Meacham. I think the restoration was reckless. I think this video, while interesting, does nothing to justify Flury-Lemberg’s actions. I believe she was well intentioned, but unprofessional.

YouTube – interviw with Flury Lemberg.

A Green Shroud of Turin Exhibition

Note the green, bold text below in this story by Chiara Santomiero of Zenit News (

TURIN, Italy, FEB. 24, 2010More than a million pilgrims have made reservations to view the Shroud of Turin when it is displayed this April in the city’s cathedral.

The shroud — believed to be the cloth Christ was buried in — will be on display April 10-23 at the Turin Cathedral. The last time it was displayed was 10 years ago.

Nearly a million reservations have been made by Italians alone. Other reservations have come from Argentina, Burkina Faso, Japan and Russia.
Some 4,500 volunteers are currently training to help with the logistics. “Those who collaborate in this event do so for free,” said Maurizio Bardello, director of the Committee for the Exposition of the Holy Shroud. The organization “has been guided by criteria of sobriety and expected costs. A wide use of recyclable material is planned.”

The director added that some permanent renovations are under way, such as a remodeling of the Chiablese Palace, where pilgrims will be able to attend Eucharistic Adoration and receive the sacrament of confession.

Planning green

In addition to the use of recyclables, other environmentally friendly plans are being made.

“To reduce the effect on the city of the arrival of close to 20,000 expected buses, each one will be asked for a contribution of €30 destined exclusively to plant new trees,” said Bardello.


Best News Article on the Shroud of Turin

Michael Day, writing in Britain’s fourth largest newspaper, The Independent, has written what is probably the most accurate and objective news article on the Shroud of Turin in years:

The face of Christ or a brilliant hoax? More than two million of the faithful, undecided or merely curious who are expected to converge on Turin Cathedral this spring will be able to decide for themselves when the most famous religious relic in the world goes on display for only the sixth time in 100 years.

The public viewing of the Turin Shroud, the cloth that some say bears the imprint of Jesus’s face after his crucifixion, will be the first since a painstaking restoration was completed in 2002.

Fiorenzo Alfieri, Turin’s councillor for culture, said this week that around one million people have already ordered tickets to see the relic, which will be on display in its bulletproof, climate-controlled case from 10 April to 23 May. Mr Alfieri expected more than two million visitors from around the globe.

Traditionally, the public is allowed to see the shroud every 25 years, but church officials have said they understand its "importance to the economy and employment" of the northern Italian city – hence their decision to allow the latest public display just 10 years after the last one.

The “tradition” was once every generation, which is approximately every 25 to 40 years. But it is a loose tradition. Exceptions have been made or the schedule manipulated in the past for royal weddings and coronations in the years when the Shroud was privately owned by the House of Savoy.

Whether the most-studied artifact in human history really does bear the image of Christ or merely the skilled work of medieval pranksters has been the source of debate for centuries, however. The cloth bears the faint image of the front and back of a tall, long-haired, bearded man and appears to be stained by blood of wounds indicative of crucifixion.

Independent carbon-dating tests done in 1988 by researchers at Oxford, Zurich and Tucson, Arizona, estimated that the Shroud was made between 1260 and 1390, suggesting it was a hoax.

But some scientists have argued that contamination over the ages may have skewed the results.

The most widely accepted explanation is that the single sample, divided into three parts for the three mentioned labs, was a partial reweaving, a repair made to an excised corner of the Shroud. This has been carefully analyzed an published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, One minor typographical detail: the peer-reviewed journal is Thermochimica Acta (Volume 425, pages 189-194, by Raymond N. Rogers, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California). 

One Vatican researcher claims to have found faint traces of script in Aramaic, ancient Greek and Latin on the shroud, while two Israeli scientists said plant pollen found on the cloth supported the view that it comes from the Holy Land.

In 2005, a study, published in the scientific journal Thermonautica Acta (sic), claimed that the Shroud was between 1,300 and 3,000 years old.

It is Thermochimica Acta not Thermonautica Acta

In addition, people who believe in the relic’s authenticity say that scientists have never been able to adequately explain how the shroud’s image was made. Monsignor Giuseppe Ghiberti, president of the Turin archdiocese’s commission on the Shroud, said the Vatican might consider a new round of scientific tests after the public display ends, given recent developments in the field of carbon-dating.

That is absolutely true. No explanation of the image that reproduces the image’s chemical and physical attributes has been discovered.

But in April and May visitors will be able to decide for themselves if the Shroud appears realistic. Viewing – a maximum of five minutes a person – is free by reservation, which can be made online.

Pope Benedict XVI is expected to visit the shroud on 2 May. The Vatican itself has carefully avoided opining on the Shroud’s authenticity but has instead described it as "a powerful symbol of Christ’s suffering".

It is thought that the Shroud travelled widely before it was brought to France in the 14th century by a crusader. Nuns subsequently looked after it before it was given to the Turin archbishop in 1578 by the Duke of Savoy. The relic was then bequeathed to the Pope by former King Umberto II of Italy, upon his death in 1983.

Well written. Turin Shroud expected to attract two million visitors – Europe, World – The Independent

Yorkshire Church Shroud of Turin Replica Display

Susan Press, of the Yorkshire Evening post:

One of the most controversial mysteries in religious history is to be explored at a church in Leeds.

St Theresa’s, in Cross Gates, is set to showcase a full-size copy of the Turin Shroud in an intriguing exhibition outlining its hotly-contested story.

For well over 100 years, believers have contended that the linen shroud is the actual cloth placed on the body of Jesus Christ at the time of his burial.

Sceptics argue that the world-famous artefact post-dates the Crucifixion by more than a thousand years.

But on Sunday, February 14, regular churchgoers and the general public will be able to carry out their own investigations with the chance to see an exact replica of the shroud.

It has been provided by Pam Moon, who is one of only four people in the world to own a copy.

Mrs Moon, who lives in Staffordshire, will also be giving two talks about the Shroud at noon and 3pm to anyone interested in finding out more.

St Theresa’s parishioner Mrs Mary Wilkinson, 65, came across the intriguing exhibit on a visit to Tamworth, where Vicar’s wife Mrs Moon resides.

She said: "Whatever people think about it, and I know there are many opinions, there is no doubt this is the image of a man who was crucified and as Lent begins that is something for all of us to contemplate."

A booklet outlining the story of the Shroud will also be on sale and people visiting the exhibition are asked to make a donation to church funds.

The original Turin Shroud is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.
The striking image which captured the world’s imagination was first observed on the evening of May 28, 1898, when amateur photographer Secondo Pia, was allowed to photograph it.

The Roman Catholic Church has never formally endorsed or rejected the shroud, but in 1958 Pope Pius XII approved of the image in association with the Roman Catholic devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus.

The exhibition, which will be on show from 8am till 3pm on Sunday February 14, is to move on to Westminster RC Cathedral later in the year.

Full article: Turin Shroud replica on show in Leeds church – Yorkshire Evening Post

The Shroud of Turin, the Shroud of Scholarly Disputes

John Thavis has written an excellent story for Catholic News Service. There is a great deal of useful perspective on the Shroud.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Shroud of Turin, which many Christians believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus, goes on public display this spring, at a time when experts are debating new claims about the 14-foot-long piece of linen.

Pope Benedict XVI has already made plans to view the shroud during a one-day trip to the northern Italian city of Turin in early May. Many observers are wondering how the pope will refer to the cloth: as a sign, an icon or — as Pope John Paul II once characterized it — a relic.

The shroud’s last showing was 10 years ago, when more than a million people lined up to see it in the cathedral of Turin in northern Italy. Officials are predicting similar crowds for the exposition April 10-May 23, and visitors are being urged to book their visits online at

The pilgrims come to witness with their own eyes what they may have read about or glimpsed on TV. Most go away impressed with what they see: a faint image of a bearded man who appears to have been whipped, crowned with thorns and crucified.

Carbon-14 tests in 1988 dated the cloth to the Middle Ages, and seemed to confirm the theory that the shroud was a pious fraud. But since then, some experts have faulted the methodology of the testing, and said the tiny samples used may have been taken from areas of the cloth that were mended in medieval times.

The shroud has also been chemically analyzed, electronically enhanced and computer-imaged. So far, no one has been able to fully explain how the image was transferred to the linen cloth, although experts have put forward theories ranging from enzyme reaction to solar imaging.

The shroud has been studied from virtually every scientific angle in recent years. Its weave has been examined, pollen grains embedded in the cloth have been inspected, and red stains have been analyzed for hemoglobin properties. One particular sub-category of debate focuses on enhanced images that, in the opinion of some scientists, reveal the impression of 1st-century Palestinian coins placed on the eyes of the shroud’s figure.

The "jury" on the shroud includes hundreds of experts, some of them self-appointed. They do not split neatly into believers and skeptics, however. The latest controversy, in fact, involves a Vatican archivist who claims to have found evidence of writing on the shroud — a hypothesis that has drawn sharp criticism from other Catholic scholars.

The archivist, Barbara Frale, said in a new book that older photographs of the shroud reveal indications of what was essentially a written death notice for a "Jesus Nazarene." The text, she said, employs three languages used in 1st-century Jerusalem.
The book immediately prompted a Web site war in Italy. Several sites dedicated to the shroud ridiculed Frale’s hypothesis, saying it bordered on Dan Brown-style fantasy. Vatican Radio, however, featured an interview with Frale about her "important discovery." No doubt the world will hear more about this scholarly spat when the shroud goes on display.

It will be the first public showing of the shroud since it underwent a restoration in 2002, which removed repair patches and a large piece of linen of a later date. To prepare for the exhibit, the Archdiocese of Turin has taken the unusual step of closing the cathedral for three months. It will take that long to set up the viewing area and the informational exhibit for visitors as they wait in line.

Pope Benedict’s arrival is a big event for organizers of this year’s shroud exposition. Many Catholics look to Rome for direction on how to evaluate the shroud, as Pope John Paul II discovered en route to Africa in 1989, when he called the shroud a "relic." When excited reporters asked whether this meant it was the authentic burial cloth of Christ, the Polish pope conferred with an aide before answering more cautiously: "The church has never pronounced itself in this sense. It has always left the question open to all those who want to seek its authenticity. I think it is a relic."

Clearly, Pope John Paul was personally convinced, although when he went to see the shroud in 1998 he carefully avoided using the term "relic."

Pope Benedict has long been cautious about the value of private signs, apparitions and revelations. But he seems to consider the Shroud of Turin in a different category.

In his book, "The Spirit of the Liturgy," then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote that the shroud was "a truly mysterious image, which no human artistry was capable of producing."

In his meditations on the Good Friday Way of the Cross in Rome shortly before his election as pope in 2005, he wrote regarding the 11th station, "Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross": "The Shroud of Turin allows us to have an idea of the incredible cruelty of this procedure."

The pope then offered a kind of prayer inspired by the figure of the shroud: "Let us halt before this image of pain, before the suffering Son of God. Let us look upon him at times of presumptuousness and pleasure, in order to learn to respect limits and to see the superficiality of all merely material goods. Let us look upon him at times of trial and tribulation, and realize that it is then that we are closest to God."

CNS STORY: Shroud of Turin: Image provokes prayer, curiosity, scholarly disputes

How to See the Holy Shroud


James Sajo reports in Suite 101.

The most revered relic in Christianity is normally locked in a secret room in a cathedral in Turin (Torino), Italy. This year, the door will be opened.

The Holy Shroud, also known as the Shroud of Turin, has been on public display only 17 times in the last three centuries. Make that 18. From April 10 through May 23 of this year, the iconic cloth will be on a rare public exhibit.

The Shroud is a fine linen cloth that bears the image of a beaten and crucified man. Many believe it is the winding sheet used to wrap the body of Jesus after he was crucified. A century of scientific research and extensive tests have failed to conclusively prove or disprove the provenance of the cloth.

Shroud of Turin Reservations

Reservations are mandatory to see the Shroud. Visitors can book on-line using the Shroud web site. An alternative is to go to the reception area in Turin’s beautiful Piazza Castello (just around the corner from the Cathedral) and make a same-day booking. Same-day reservations are a risky proposition, as space will be limited.

The on-line booking form is easy to follow. It allows visitors to see which dates and time slots are available. The form allows booking for individuals or groups (a separate booking form is offered for large groups, along with information on hotels offering group rates). Once booked, an email confirmation will be sent. Visitors must bring a copy of the email confirmation with them to the exhibit to ensure entry.

The exhibit is open every day from 7AM to 8PM. Once inside the Cathedral, visitors will be permitted 15 minutes to view the Shroud. It is best to avoid weekends, especially Sunday, as those dates are more crowded. May 2nd is completely booked already. The Pope will visit Turin and see the Shroud on that day.

Shroud of Turin: How to See the Holy Shroud

Frascati Acheiropoietos Workshop 2010 Announced

Note the workshop to be held in Frascati, Italy is to be in English.

From the workshop website:

"Acheiropoietos" images are those images that, according to tradition, are "not made by hands". In a few cases, Science is still not able to explain the origin of acheiropoietos images: the most famous example is the Turin Shroud.

The mysterious images of a crucified man on the Shroud of Turin are inexplicable. Despite what has been written in the largely clueless press, no one, not even with state-of-the-art technology, has ever duplicated the images. The experimental STURP results proved the images embedded into the linen cloth are not the result of painting or a contact print, and the color is very superficial, as it resides on the topmost fibers in the cloth weave. For lack of a proven explanation, they are best described as photographic-like, although the characteristics of the Shroud image at microscopic level are not compatible with photographic techniques. Yet the radiocarbon tests traced back the Shroud to 1260 – 1390, some 600 years before photography was invented.

The meaning of the results of the 1988 radiocarbon tests indicating the cloth dated from the 14th Century has been discredited by several peer-reviewed scientific works showing the samples used for radiocarbon dating were not representative of the whole Shroud. (Emphasis mine)

In summary, the origin of the Shroud body image is still unknown and the age of the cloth is uncertain: the Turin Shroud is still a challenge to our intelligence and poses many questions to Science.

This workshop aims to promote a bottom-up scientific discussion on chemical, physical, mechanical, forensic and historical aspects of the most famous acheiropoietos images, namely the Turin Shroud, the Tilma of our Lady of Guadalupe and the Veil of Manoppello. A cross-fertilization of different disciplines appears the only way to gain a deeper insight into these controversial images.

Oral contributions and posters are solicited in the following topics related to acheiropoietos images:

Images characteristics
Images formation hypotheses
Images dating
Images processing
Novel tools of analysis
Restoration and conservation issue
Comparison of different acheiropoietos images
Historical aspects
Forensic views


Conference language: English
Venue: The Workshop will be held at the ENEA Research Centre, via E. Fermi 45, Frascati (Italy).

Accomodation: A list of Hotels in Frascati is reported in the home page "workshop location" link.

Deadline for summary submission: January 15, 2010. See instructions in the home page "submission" link.
Deadline for early registration (reduced fee): March 2, 2010.

For more information, see Frascati Acheiropoietos Workshop 2010 – Home page

Late Breaking Website News!

Science by Press Release (Again). Another Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz

Once again we are being bombarded by media claims about the Shroud of Turin, although this time admittedly from a pro-authenticity position by researcher Barbara Frale. However, the same rules must be applied to these claims as those applied to the recent claims by anti-authenticity researcher Luigi Garlaschelli.

Frale claims she has "discovered" inscriptions on the Shroud that prove it is authentic. However, she is basing her conclusions on the work done by French researchers Marion and Courage (published in the late 1990’s) which made these same claims. Rather than submitting her work to a journal that could review and verify her research, she too, like Garlaschelli, is publishing her work in a commercial book (and only in Italian). In fact, the recent press coverage seems to be mainly designed to promote the sale of that book. Once again, we are seeing "science" reported by press releases rather than in the conventional scientific literature.

As for the Marion and Courage inscriptions themselves, these were carefully evaluated from a linguistic point of view in 1999 by Shroud scholar and language expert, Mark Guscin, who published his results in the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter in November 1999. That article, titled, ‘The "Inscriptions" on the Shroud,’ was ultimately reprinted on this website and can still be found at this link:

In the end, Guscin concluded:

"So none of the inscriptions which some claim to be able to see make enough grammatical or historical sense. This in itself is enough to doubt their very existence on the cloth, but the clinching point was evident in the presentation of the work in the symposium at Nice (1997). The slides that Marion and Courage used showed the areas of the cloth where they could see the inscriptions, and then the various optical treatments they had subjected it to, and finally the inscriptions written in over where they were meant to be. They were only visible on these last slides. There was absolutely nothing visible on any of the other slides. If the inscriptions made any kind of sense then maybe a more sympathetic attitude would be called for, but as it is I think the whole affair is yet another example of things being seen on the Shroud in an attempt to come up with something new."

To make matters worse, Marion and Courage based all of their imaging work solely on the 1931 Giuseppe Enrie photographs, which have sadly been the basis for a vast array of claims of objects or writings being found on the Shroud. I say "sadly" because the high resolution orthochromatic film used by Enrie, coupled with the extreme raking light he used when making the photographs, created an infinite number of patterns and shapes everywhere on the Shroud. Since orthochromatic film basically only records black or white, any mid-tone grays of the Shroud image were inherently altered or changed to only black or only white, in essence discarding much data and CHANGING the rest.

The grain structure of orthochromatic film itself is distinctive: It is not homogenous and consists of clumps and clusters of grain of different sizes that appear as an infinite myriad of shapes when magnified. It is easy to find anything you are looking for if you magnify and further duplicate the image onto additional generations of orthochromatic film, thus creating even more of these shapes.

Although Enrie’s images are superb for general views of the Shroud (they look great), they contain only a small part of the data that is actually on the Shroud so they are much less reliable for imaging research purposes and have a tendency to lead to "I think I see…" statements. I would feel much more confident if these claims were based on the full color images of the Shroud which contain ALL the data available.

As I used to try and explain to Fr. Francis Filas, who first "discovered" the rather dubious coin inscriptions over the eyes and who had enlarged and duplicated the Enrie images (through at least five generations – and always onto orthochromatic film), there is a fine line between enhancement and manipulation. Fr. Filas first presented his findings to the STURP team in 1979 and frankly, not one of the STURP imaging scientists accepted his claims.

Since everyone now has the ability to manipulate images on their desktop, the number of these claims is increasing. Sadly, unless one knows exactly what they are doing, spurious claims will undoubtedly be the final result. I personally must reject any claims of secondary objects or inscriptions on the Shroud, particularly if they are based solely on the Enrie images.

As for Barbara Frale’s conclusions, I have not read anything more than the press releases we all have seen, so once again, very little information has been provided and certainly not enough for anyone to get overly excited by these latest claims.

As I mentioned in my last editorial, with the Shroud going on public display again next year, I am not at all surprised by this type of media coverage, no matter which side of the authenticity issue is touted. In the end, there is nothing here that resembles good, empirical science, at least not so far. As one who was a member of the team that performed the only in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud ever permitted, I am bound and obligated to stick to the facts, no matter which side of the authenticity issue they fall on. Sadly, the real facts are rarely found in commercial books or press releases or television documentaries. Remember, these media venues have no standards of scientific accuracy to adhere to and consequently, they rarely do.

Barrie M. Schwortz
21 November 2009

Benedict XVI Set to Visit Turin in May

Zenit is reporting: Benedict XVI Set to Visit Turin in May

On Occasion of Exposition of the Holy Shroud

TURIN, Italy, OCT. 28, 2009 ( Benedict XVI will visit Turin next May on the occasion of the exposition of the Holy Shroud, revealed the archbishop of Turin
Cardinal Severino Poletto confirmed the Pope’s May 2 visit in a press statement Tuesday, the day after the Holy Father received him in audience.
"As the first ceremony of the visit, the Holy Father will be recollected in personal prayer before the Holy Shroud," Cardinal Poletto explained. Then "there will be a solemn Eucharistic concelebration for all pilgrims in St. John’s Square, which will be followed by the recitation of the Angelus prayer."
"In the afternoon, the Pope will meet with young people in the
Church of the Holy Face (Chiesa del Santo Volto) and, during the trajectory, he will stop briefly in the Cottolengo to meet and bless the residents of the Little House of Divine Providence," he added.
St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1786 – 1842) founded the Little House of Divine Providence, a shelter for the poor, and is listed among the saints of charity in Benedict XVI’s encyclical "Deus Caritas Est."
During his visit to Turin, Cardinal Poletto continued, "the Pope will want above all to express a word of consolation to the many persons who are suffering, in keeping with the theme of the exposition of the shroud, ‘Passio Christi, Passio Hominis’ (Passion of Christ, Passion of Men)."
"Moreover, in the spirit of his latest encyclical, ‘Caritas in Veritate,’ he will encourage and give hope to all those who are worried about a job in this city, always regarded as the ‘city of work and industry,’ but which at present feels more than others the consequences of a vast and prolonged crisis beyond all expectations," he added.
For the cardinal, "the day the Holy Father will spend in Turin will be for all of us an occasion to meet with him, to pray for him and with him, and to listen to the particular message he will bring to the Church of Turin and to all the civil society of our territory."
For the city and Diocese of Turin, this visit will be "an extraordinary gift of his fatherly heart," and "we will receive him with great affection and enthusiasm," Cardinal Poletto added.
"That will be for him support and encouragement to continue for a long time offering the beautiful testimony of his faith and of the great wisdom with which he is guiding the Church, thus becoming also, for the whole world, a point of reference of primary importance for the defense of the fundamental values of humanity," the cardinal concluded.
A Pope’s wish
Benedict XVI expressed his desire to go to Turin in 2008 when he received in a special audience at the Vatican 7,000 pilgrims from Turin, and he repeated his wish last July when he had lunch with Cardinal Poletto and others at his summer residence of Les Combes.
"If the Lord gives me life and health, I too hope to come," the Pope told the Turin pilgrims. The exposition, he continued, "will provide an appropriate moment to contemplate that mysterious face which silently speaks to the hearts of men, inviting them to recognize therein the face of God."
The last time the shroud was exposed for the public was 10 years ago. The upcoming exposition is scheduled for April 10 to May 23, 2010.
The shroud will be on display for the first time since its 2002 restoration, in which the patches sewn onto the cloth in 1534 by Poor Clare nuns to repair the damage caused by the 1532 fire were removed.
Without the patches, the holes burned into the cloth are visible. The backing cloth, known as the Holland Cloth, was also removed and replaced with a new, lighter-colored cloth.
The 2010 exposition will also include a new tour to inform visitors of the history and significance of the shroud, complemented with unpublished high-resolution photos.
The shroud, measuring 4.39 meters in length and 1.15 meters in width (14.5 feet by 3.5 feet), is kept in a climate-controlled urn in the chapel of the Turin cathedral.

ZENIT – Benedict XVI Set to Visit Turin in May

2010 Exhibition Official Site

Well, this bills itself as the official website for the 2010 exhibit of the Shroud of Turin. The English version leave much to be desired. You would have thought they would have found someone who speaks English to do the translations. Did they use Google Translate? Most tabs in English simply say translation is coming soon or are in Italian. Online reservations are only in Italian. There is a big Multimedia section that takes forever to load and looks really cool, if you know Italian. Here are some:

Welcome Service tab:

The Shroud exhibition is an important pilgrimage opportunity but a chance to better know the Church of Torino, its territory, the province and Piedmont as well. The diocese of Torino, just like for all the former exhibitions (1998 and 2000) has arranged many services and initiatives to welcome groups from other Churches and christian communities as far as both the liturgy and the reciprocal acquaintance are concerned.

Moreover, the local turinese and piedmontese authorities have planned religious and cultural touristic initiatives linked to the exhibition.

For any information on tourist welcome, please check Turismo Torino.

The volunteers will be the first to welcome the visitors in the city and all along the exhibition route from the beginning to the end at the exit of the Cathedral. The volunteers for the Shroud and those of the City will also be present in other points along the route and in Torino.

Exposition day and hours tab:

During the exhibition the Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral, in front of the Shroud, every morning at 7 and the Lodi prayer will be said at the end.

The Holy Sacrament will be exposed in the penitentiary at Palazzo Chiablese (at the end of the exhibition route map, penitentiary) all day long. The chapel will be reserved for silent prayer and eucharistical worship.

Some priests will be at disposal to hear confessions and administer the sacrament of Reconciliation in the penitentiary.

The route will be open from the end of the Mass up to 8 pm to attend the Shroud exhibition (reservations are required). It will be possibile to enter the Cathedral by the main door but then the Shroud will be only visible from a distance. The nave will be reserved to prayers and silent reflections.

In the evening, according to the calendar, the Cathedral may be open in case of particular ceremonies or religious cultural events.

Getting here tab:


Churches and religious functions  tab:

Attend the Shroud exhibition is an occasion to better know the Church of Torino visiting its temples and sanctuaries as well. During the exhibition many churches will welcome other pilgrimage moments, before and after the visit to the Shroud. Here you can find all information you may need about services and contacts.

Penitentiary tab:

The «penitentiary» is after the Shroud route, inside Palazzo Chiablese and immediately before Piazzetta Reale.

All day long, some priests will be at disposal to hear confessions and administer the sacrament of Reconciliation.

The chapel, where the Holy Sacrament is exposed everyday, is near the penitentiary and reserved for silent prayer and eucharistical worship.

Sacra Sindone – Welcome service

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