Barrie Schwortz offers us a final report on the 2015 Shroud of Turin Exposition titled The 2015 Exposition – A Personal Report by Barrie Schwortz. I found this paragraph particularly interesting:
I have noticed that since the 2002 restoration of the Shroud, the Turin authorities have had certain difficulties in adjusting the lighting to portray the Shroud in its natural color when on public display. That may be because a whiter sheet was sewn to the back of the Shroud during the 2002 intervention, thus lowering the apparent contrast of the image itself. I discussed this with Bruno Barberis while in Turin and he explained that this year, to help compensate for this lowered contrast, the organizers tested and calibrated the spectral characteristics of the lighting used to maximize visual contrast in the image. However, this required using a portion of the visible spectrum that in part neutralized the yellow color of the cloth itself, making it appear more grayish in tone. To help restore the warm color appearance of the Shroud, the organizers chose to surround the cloth with a blue frame. Any art or photography student knows that doing so makes the object within the frame appear warmer in tone. There is no doubt that the Turin authorities approached this carefully and thoughtfully and made the best compromise possible between contrast and color, so that viewing the Shroud was a truly positive experience for everyone.
Oh, to be reminded of 2002 again.
Some of the many purple jacketed volunteers who worked during the more than two months of the 2015 Shroud of Turin Exposition. Click on the image to access a large version (2592×1936 pixels) of this image on the official Diocese of Turin sindone.org website.
John Klotz has written an important piece, The Pope, the Apocalypse and the Shroud and posted it in his Quantum Christ blog. Do read it.
On Thursday, June 18, 2015, Pope Francis released to the world his groundbreaking encyclical on climate change Laudato Si. On Sunday, June 21, he prayed before the Shroud of Turin and then standing-up moved forward and tenderly touched the rim of the Shroud’s display frame. Both the release of Laudato Si on June 18 and his travel to Turin had been determined and publicized months in advance. Could they have been related?
Reuters journalist Philip Pullella wrote the report that got the most early-the-next-day shroud coverage among English language newspapers. The headline: Pope prays at Turin Shroud but skirts authenticity debate.
Pope Francis prayed on Sunday before the mysterious shroud some Christians believe is Jesus’s burial cloth but skirted the issue of its authenticity, saying it should remind people of all suffering and persecution.
On his first day of a visit to the northern industrial city of Turin, he defended migrants flocking to Europe to escape war and injustice, saying it "makes one cry" to see them mistreated.
He also spoke of the city’s 19th century reputation as a center of devil worship and anti-clericalism, saying today’s young people faced new snares of high unemployment, drugs and unbridled consumerism.
Pullella said very little about the shroud. But he did pick up the gist of what the pope did and then said about the shroud:
After praying for several minutes before the cloth that has baffled scientists for decades, he touched its glass case and moved on to say Mass for 60,000 people. There he said the Shroud should spur people to reflect not only on Jesus but also on "the face of every suffering and unjustly persecuted person."
Despite the headline, the last several paragraphs of Pullella’s filing are about migrant workers.
The pope began the day with an outdoor rally on the theme of workers rights and immigration. Turin’s factories drew in waves of poor southern Italian peasants in the post-war period. Today it is home to migrants from developing countries and social tensions have increased along with unemployment.
That same day, Pullella filed two other stories.
Pullella may understand this pope very well. The day was not about the shroud. It wasn’t about what the pope might think about the shroud.
The AP story to some extent picks up this theme
Francis sat for several minutes before the shroud, contained in a protective glass case. He lowered his head at times in apparent reflection and occasionally gazed up at the 4.3-meter (14-foot) long cloth. Then he took a few steps, placed his hand on the case, and walked away without comment.
Later, after celebrating Mass of the faithful in a packed Turin square, Francis gave his impression of the cloth as he spoke of the love Jesus had for humanity when being crucified.
‘Icon of Christ’s love’
“Icon of this love is the Shroud, which, even this time, has attracted so many people here to Turin,” Francis said. “The Shroud draws (people) to the tormented face and body of Jesus and, at the same time, directs (people) toward the face of every suffering and unjustly persecuted person.”
The AP story also switched gears, perhaps a bit less gracefully:
Skeptics say the cloth bearing the image of a crucified man is a medieval forgery.
Turin, the heartland of Italy’s auto industry, is considered Italy’s blue-collar labor capital, and Francis used his two-day visit to the city to denounce exploitation of workers, singling out women, young people and immigrants as frequent victims.
Photograph by Renzo Bussio, Sindon.org (Hot linked through Facebook)