LA VOCE DEL POPOLO - Wednesday, August 28, 2002



Eliminated the Holland cloth and the fire patches – The digital map
The «restored» Shroud, soon the new images

It will be “a new” Shroud the one which is going to be shown in the next weeks by the Custodian Cardinal Poletto: in fact, in June and July important works of “restoration” of the Cloth kept in the Cathedral of Turin have been carried out. The “patches” that had been sewn by the Clares of Chambéry on the Shroud image sides to repair the1532 fire damages have been removed and it was proceeded to a complete review of the seam system, so that the cloth could be preserved as “spread” as possible, which contributes, in fact, to reduce the possible formation of folds.  Moreover, the “Holland cloth,” which had acted as the Shroud backing for more than 450 years, has been removed and replaced. All the seam interventions have been carried through by Dr. Mechthild Flury Lemberg, former director of Bern Abegg Museum and textile expert, helped by Dr. Irene Tomedi. The patches and old seams removal has also allowed to remove the dusts and the several debris that have accumulated on the Sheet in the course of the centuries.  Every removed fragment has been catalogued and is kept in the Archbishopric.

Another work has concerned the complete electronic scanning of the two faces of the Shroud, carried out by the team of Prof. Paolo Soardo from the Institute “G. Ferraris” of Turin: now it will be possible to have the Cloth entire "digital mapping” (in November 2000 a first scanning had been limited to the back of the Shroud and to the central part, since the patches seams prevented the passage of the scanner).

The interventions are a part of the program already drawn by the Commission for the preservation, that had supplied the Custodians (first, Cardinal Saldarini, now, Cardinal Poletto) with the indications and the criteria to  create the best possible conditions of preservation. Now such a “plan” can be considered as completed: the Shroud has got a place of its own inside the Cathedral, a case suitable for the preservation, and all the possible interventions on the Cloth in order to guarantee its optimal conditions of preservation have been carried out.