Build your own Turin Shroud

Luigi Garlaschelli says his reproduction of the shroud disproves the claims of its strongest supporters.

Luigi Garlaschelli says his reproduction of the shroud disproves the claims of its strongest supporters.

An Italian scientist says he has reproduced one of the world’s most famous Catholic relics, the Shroud of Turin, to support his belief it is a medieval fake, not the cloth Jesus was buried in. Luigi Garlaschelli created a copy of the shroud by wrapping a specially woven cloth over one of his students, painting it with pigment, baking it in an oven (which he called a “shroud machine”) for several hours, then washing it. . . “Basically the Shroud of Turin has some strange properties and characteristics that they say cannot be reproduced by human hands,” he told CNN by phone from Italy, where he is a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia. “For example, the image is superficial and has no pigment, it looks so lifelike and so on, and therefore they say it cannot have been done by an artist.” His research shows the pigment may simply have worn off the cloth over the centuries since it was first “discovered” in 1355, but impurities in the pigment etched an image into the fibers of the cloth, leaving behind the ghostly picture that remains today.

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