A rarely seen copy of the Holy Shroud (1516) which is in the Chiesa di Saint Gommaire at Lier, Belgium is attributed to Albert Durer (1471-1508) . This copy documents the fact that the Shroud had been through a fire at a time and in circumstances unknown. It reproduces only the double mirror series of little burn-holes, visible in the Cloth today and shown in the photograph above. Some theory is that it probably could have been made by Durer with his famous “camera obscura" -- Durer's device was the early start of the photographic camera. It was a box with a lens at one end and a screen of oiled paper at the other end. Thereby, the image projected by the lens could be traced by the Artist.
The remarkable object known as the "Shroud of Turin" has been an historically recorded relic since 1353 when it was documented as being owned by the de Charney family in France.
The Shroud is believed by many to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth. History on the Shroud describes this unbleached, herringbone wave, sepia color cloth as 14 feet 3 inches long by 3 feet 7 inches wide.
It was wrapped in red silk in a silver chest in the Chapel of the Holy Shroud in the Renaissance Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Turin, Italy.
The Chapel was designed by B. Quadri in 1667. Building of the Chapel, was continued (from 1667) and completed to the design of Guarino Guarini (1624-1683).
During the exposition of the Shroud, held in May-June 1998, the Shroud was exposed for public viewing in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
Some believe this sacred piece of linen is the same cloth known as the "Mandylion" which has been traced from Jerusalem in 30 A.D. to Constantinople in 1204 only to disappear during the 4th Crusade. Ancient records state it was displayed in Lirey in 1353 when it was in possession of Geoffrey de Charney.
Somehow a piece of linen that bore "The Figure of the Lord" was reported seen years earlier by Robert de Clari, a chronicler of the 4th Crusade, in the city of Constantinople in 1203.
He recorded that it disappeared when the Byzantine Capital was looted by the Crusaders.
There are various stories and accounts, but de Charney's granddaughter, Marguerite, owned the Shroud and in 1453 gave it to Duke Louis of Savoy.
From 1453 the Shroud belonged to the House of Savoy until the death of the exiled King of Italy, Umberto II, on March 18, 1983. In his will the king bequeathed the Shroud to the Vatican. Pope John Paul II requested that "this precious heritage to mankind," remain in Turin.
Investigating the Shroud
In 1978, using over six tons of scientific equipment, teams of assigned experts began the laborious task of investigation. For five full days, 24 hours a day, each particular group, a total of 32 scientists, did its own testing. Never before had the Shroud of Turin been subjected to such an exhaustive and minute examination by man. (We acknowledge information provided by the Albany Center Turin Shroud).
Carbon 14 Controversy
On October 13, 1988 the results from the carbon-14 (C-14) test on the Shroud of Turin were announced by Cardinal Anastacio Ballestrero of Turin. The A.D. 1260-1390 dates, suggesting a medieval origin for the cloth, resulted in a considerable stir.
Many people, including scientists and researchers feel that there were inconsistencies in the method used and are recommending that another test be done.
The investigators today are still looking into its mystery. Among them are art historians, pathologists, Biblical scholars, linguists, chemists, textile experts, physicists, photographic specialists, archaeologists, numismatists, image analysts, authors and writers from every part of the world.