Shroud Of Turin Reproduced; Italian Group Says Relic Is Man-Made, Fake

Scientists have reproduced the Shroud of Turin -- revered as the cloth that covered Jesus in the tomb -- and say the experiment proves the relic was man-made, a group of Italian debunkers claimed Monday.

See the original Shroud of Turin compared to the one created by sci...

The shroud bears the figure of a crucified man, complete with blood seeping out of nailed hands and feet, and believers say Christ's image was recorded on the linen fibers at the time of his resurrection.

Scientists have reproduced the shroud using materials and methods that were available in the 14th century, the Italian Committee for Checking Claims on the Paranormal said.

The group said in a statement this is further evidence the shroud is a medieval forgery. In 1988, scientists used radiocarbon dating to determine it was made in the 13th or 14th century.

But the dispute continued because experts couldn't explain how the faint brown discoloration was produced, imprinting on the cloth a negative image centuries before the invention of photography.

Many still believe that the shroud "has unexplainable characteristics that cannot be reproduced by human means," lead scientist Luigi Garlaschelli said in the statement. "The result obtained clearly indicates that this could be done with the use of inexpensive materials and with a quite simple procedure."

The research was funded by the debunking group and by an Italian organization of atheists and agnostics, he said.
Story continues below

Garlaschelli, a professor of chemistry at the University of Pavia, said in an interview with La Repubblica daily that his team used a linen woven with the same technique as the shroud and artificially aged by heating it in an oven and washing it with water.

The cloth was then placed on a student, who wore a mask to reproduce the face, and rubbed with red ochre, a well known pigment at the time. The entire process took a week, Repubblica said.

The shroud is first recorded in history around 1360 in the hands of a French knight -- a late appearance that is one of the reasons why some scientists are skeptical of its authenticity.

Measuring 13 feet (4 meters) long and three feet (one meter) wide, it has suffered severe damage during the centuries, including from fires.

Owned by the Vatican, it is kept locked in a special protective chamber in Turin's cathedral and is rarely shown. The last public display was in 2000, when more than 1 million people turned up to see it, and the next is scheduled for 2010.

The Catholic Church makes no claims about the relic's authenticity, but says it is a powerful symbol of Christ's suffering.

The shroud has been strongly debated within the scientific community. Some researchers claim that patches used in the Middle Ages to repair the cloth after a fire altered the carbon-dating results.

Another study, by the Hebrew University, concluded that pollen and plant images on the shroud showed it originated in the area around Jerusalem sometime before the eighth century.

Garlaschelli told Repubblica he didn't think his research would convince those who have faith in the shroud's authenticity.

"They won't give up," he said. "Those who believe in it will continue to believe."


On the Net:

The debunking group (in Italian):

Shroud Web site of the Turin diocese:

Via: HuffPost

Views: 77

Comment by Morgan Matthew on October 6, 2009 at 4:02pm
You know it makes me wonder how many other false positives (IE Fake relics) there really are... I do recall watching a show a few years back on how explosive selling fake relics really are in the middle east.

The truly sad part is that quote, "They won't give up," he said. "Those who believe in it will continue to believe."
Comment by Aric on October 6, 2009 at 4:21pm
Of course they will still continue to believe. These are the same people that reject evolution regardless of how much scientific proof there is for it. So just because there is scientific proof that the Shroud of Turin is fake doesn't mean they will quit believing that it is real.
Comment by Alison Rufus on October 6, 2009 at 5:22pm
There are still certain elements to this topic that I am sceptical about. However, it baffles me that the Vatican can lock away such relics under so much protection and yet remain - in public at least - completely open minded to it's origin. I understand that they have been scorned many times before by fake relics, both past and recent ones, however one would think they would want to know just as much as everybody else what the truth is.
Comment by CJoe on October 6, 2009 at 6:42pm
Well Alison, my theory is that the priests don't care about the truth as long as they're steering the ship. If Christianity were satisfactorly debunked (even for fundies), they'd be out of a job. These old men can't afford for the truth to be known, so they call something "holy" and it escapes scrutiny. There are MANY old relics kept in such a way that they can still be studies without causing more damage. To me, hiding something away like that is the equivalent of gramma keeping family photos hidden: what's the point in even having any of it if you can't see it? It's MEANT to be seen! Even the shroud is meant to be seen. If Jesus left it behind, surely he meant people to see it. I doubt the Son of God would be so careless as to leave something like that behind.
Comment by CJoe on October 6, 2009 at 6:43pm
I hate typos.
Comment by Alison Rufus on October 6, 2009 at 6:49pm
Hi Cara,
I'm all too aware of priests and their power trips, and I do understand that they would be out of a job so to speak. But the fact of the matter is that most Christian's don't rely on relics anyway (though many find them interesting), more so catholics do. But in my opinion, although it may not be proven to be connected to Jesus... that one thing wouldn't mean the downfall of The Vatican (unfortunately - I do hate that place/organisation whether I'm a Christian or not), and it just makes no sense to me - they could have that one thing done with and spend more time on finding real relics (if they so wish to).
Comment by Alison Rufus on October 7, 2009 at 5:52pm
Well in all honesty, I think they would still claim that it couldn't be replicated - the face looks difference, the colour is different, the ageing isn't the same... they'd find something. I don't think much would remove THEIR opinions of it.


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