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The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin

Shroud of Turin, stored in the church of St. John in Turin (Italy) 4-meter piece of canvas, which according to legend Jesus was wrapped after being removed from the cross. On it there are images of a man (front and back) who suffered a crucifix on the cross; his face is clearly distinguishable. The nature of the wounds visible in the images suggests that a man was worn with branches of thorns, beaten with sticks and lashes, and pierced with a spear on his side – all these tortures, according to the New Testament, were endured by Jesus.

The canvas over the centuries has been the property of the Savoy dynasty. The earliest information about him dates back to 1357, there is written evidence that this year in France the owner of the canvas was a certain knight who participated in the Crusades. In 1578, the shroud was bought from the family of this knight and transported to Turin.

Scientific interest in the relics awakened in 1898. The belief was once dominant that the seemingly unnatural images were painted. But the first photographs showed that the images look like a photographic negative – that in life has a light color, it turns out to be dark, and vice versa. In this case, the similarity with the original is preserved. According to experts, not a single artist could achieve such lifelikeness that was discovered using photography, and all attempts to obtain images by other means were unsuccessful.

The Catholic Church has never made an official statement about the authenticity of the shroud. The last time it was put on public display (for the fourth time in this century) in 1978. Then a group of scientists, mainly from the United States, made the first comprehensive examination of the relic. The results were presented at an exhibition organized at the University of Connecticut at Groton (1981). It was concluded that the shroud depicts a real figure of a man beaten with lashes and crucified on the cross. Blood stains contain hemoglobin. Believers in the authenticity of the shroud claim that it depicted the body of Jesus under the influence of energy emanating from his body during the resurrection.

However, in 1989, after intensive radiocarbon studies (used to determine the age of objects) conducted by scientists from three different laboratories, it was proved that the shroud was made no earlier than the 13th century. Assuming the truth of this verdict, the Catholic Church encouraged its members to honor the shroud as a pictorial representation of Christ.
Denied the allegations of Oxford researchers, FSB experts. The Shroud – a script dating back to the first century AD, and not a later fake, – concluded a group of specialists led by the then director of the FSB Forensics Institute, Doctor of Technical Sciences Anatoly Fesenko.

In their opinion, the cause of the error is the natural polymer coating formed on the fibers of the fabric after the monks cleaned it with vegetable oil in the Middle Ages. This rejected the testimony. The conclusions of the experts of the FSB of Russia, who tried to prove the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, were confirmed by its latest research at Oxford.

Scientists first made an ultra-precise digital image of the shroud at 12.8 billion pixels. On it, to the smallest detail, the silhouette of the Savior’s body and His appearance are captured, the Life for the Whole Week newspaper writes.

Researchers photographed thousands of fragments of tissue, and then from them, as from parts of a puzzle, a picture of the shroud was laid out on a computer. Scientists plan to publish digital photos on the Internet.

According to the expertise, the fabric really has a mirror imprint of the body. It was also possible to detect blood components on it: hemoglobin, bilirubin and albumin. Moreover, the increased bilirubin content indicates that the person died under stress, under torture. Experts have established a blood group – IV. By the set of chromosomes in leukocytes, gender was determined – male.

Scientists from the University of Oxford are again trying to establish the age of the Shroud of Turin, now taking into account the amendments of Russian forensic scientists. For the first time in 20 years, a group led by Professor Christopher Ramsey has been analyzing hydrocarbon decomposition of a web. The purpose of the research is to correct the scandalous mistake of twenty years ago about the dating of the Shroud. New research results are expected by the end of March 2008.

The relic is stored rolled up in a silver box; it was displayed only 5 times in the last century. When this happened in 2000, more than 3 million people saw her. The next show is due to take place in 2025.

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