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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

shroud of turin "a fake", claims french magazine

The full story can be found here.
Drawing on a method previously used by skeptics to attack authenticity claims about the Shroud, Science & Vie got an artist to do a bas-relief - a sculpture that stands out from the surrounding background - of a Christ-like face.

A scientist then laid out a damp linen sheet over the bas-relief and let it dry, so that the thin cloth was moulded onto the face.

Using cotton wool, he then carefully dabbed ferric oxide, mixed with gelatine, onto the cloth to make blood-like marks. When the cloth was turned inside-out, the reversed marks resulted in the famous image of the crucified Christ.

Gelatine, an animal by-product rich in collagen, was frequently used by Middle Age painters as a fixative to bind pigments to canvas or wood.

The imprinted image turned out to be wash-resistant, impervious to temperatures of 250°C and was undamaged by exposure to a range of harsh chemicals, including bisulphite which, without the help of the gelatine, would normally have degraded ferric oxide to the compound ferrous oxide.

Ahem. "Moment, please", as Harry Hoo (the infamous "Get Smart" detective) would say. Simply creating a reasonable looking fake does not make an original non-existent. There were many cases of an artist's work being faked and sold to unsuspecting buyers; does that make the original any less real? In any event, this new report does nothing to explain the recent research by the late chemist Raymond Rogers that showed the original carbon dating experiments (which claimed the cloth originated in medievall times) to be false and that shroud was actually between 1300 and 3000 years old. I'm sure we'll continue to get news reports going back and forth on the authenticity of this relic, so stay tuned.


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