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Culture & Religion

SHROUD/ Zaccone (International Center of Sindonology) The True Story of the Shroud That Traveled Europe



Back in Chambery, after a long period of wandering due to occupation of the duchy of Savoy during the wars between Francis I and Charles V, in which Duke Charles II of Savoy was involved, the Shroud was moved to Turin in 1578. It was Emanuele Filiberto, in his reorganization of the Duchy, who transferred the governing center of the territory to Turin, transferring with it the Shroud, which was considered the "palladium" that secured the noble house and the State.


After several temporary locations, in 1694 the Shroud found a resting place in the Guarini Chapel. It remained there, except for short periods in which it had to be preserved from the dangers of war, until 1993, when, to allow for the restoration of the Chapel, it was moved to the shrine behind the high altar of the cathedral. It was again removed from here the night of April 11, 1997, following the fire which seriously damaged the Guarini Chapel and also threatened the integrity of the Shroud, which fortunately remained unharmed.


After the last exposition (in 2000), a final restoration established the Shroud in its current condition, fully extended in a new glass case - over five meters long - which maintains the necessary environmental and safety conditions to best preserve it. This new case was placed in the chapel of the left transept of the Turin Cathedral, specially renovated to be equipped for the complex apparatus that maintains the parameters mentioned.


In 2002 a scientific project to conserve the Shroud was completed with the authorization of the Holy See, restoring the Shroud to a more authentic state after tensions arising from dubious renovation work carried out beginning with the Poor Clares of Chambéry in 1534 and adding up over time, which had lead to an unstable mixture of the actual Shroud, patches, and cloth reinforcements.


The existence of the Shroud has been marked by various expositions, periodically up until 1700, and then only to celebrate political or solemn events of particular importance. During the exposition of 1898, Secondo Pia was the first individual in history authorized to photograph the Shroud. The result famously revealed something unexpected: the image on the Shroud behaves like a photographic negative. The discovery gave rise to a new series of scientific studies on the Shroud. Last century, the Shroud was publicly exposed in 1931, 1933, 1978, 1998, and in 2000. Also notable was the televised exposition in 1973.