AVVENIRE - Saturday, August
10, 2002, page 7
The museum - The Sheet, after
having been survived to the frightful fire of 1997 is now kept
in a special case. And in order to adequately protect the relic,
they adopted the most modern systems of preservation and alarm.
Technology to defend the
TURIN - It was of clear wood, studded with precious stones and enamels:
set in the wood, they represented the instruments of the Lord's Passion:
nails, hammer, Christ's garments, the crown of thorns.
Now the case that for centuries had contained the Cloth is in the museum
of the Shroud, a few blocks away from that Chapel that had kept it for
three centuries. A Chapel that is no more the same, too: the
frightful fire of April 11, 1997 let the external walls and the dome stand,
but inside there is still all the desolation of the rubble and covering
fragments. The restoration works are still far from being completed.
Since 1997 the Shroud has been kept "extended": around it, it was
necessary to employ the most advanced technologies, both for the monitoring
of the control and alarm systems, and for the case itself: a block
of "virgin" aluminium, excavated without any welding, just to avoid any
kind of contamination; on the block is placed a crystal "cover".
During last hundred years the worries about the preservation have kept
up with the increasing interest that the Shroud excited in the scientific
world: from its first photography (1898), that revealed the fascination
of the Face in its "negative-positive", around to the Cloth they carried
out researches of any kind. And the scientific acquisitions brought
also to discoveries of great value, like the ascertainment that the stains,
visible on the body of the Crucified in correspondence with the wounds
at the hands, feet and side, are effectively of human blood; or like the
researches on the pollens, that revealed the presence on the Shroud of
botanical species localized in the Middle East two thousand years ago.
The result of the radiocarbon test, carried out in order to
establish the "age" of the Shroud, and that indicated for the Cloth a medieval
dating, remains much debated and contested.