'Prove the Shroud of Turin is a fake': British Museum challenged

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'Prove the Shroud of Turin is a fake': British Museum challenged
'Prove the Shroud of Turin is a fake': British Museum challenged
18 April, 16:31In the worldPhoto: Sophia Evans/The Observer
There is 1 million dollars at stake.

Documentary filmmaker David Rolfe is demanding new evidence from the British Museum that the Shroud of Turin is a fake, reports The Guardian.

The Catholic and Orthodox churches venerate a piece of linen, which is kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, as a shrine. Although their official representatives never stated that this is exactly the canvas in which they wrapped Jesus Christ after the removal from the cross. The shroud was first mentioned in documents in 1353 in France. British documentary filmmaker David Rolfe was one of those who drew attention to the relic at the end of the 20th century.

45 years ago, he decided to make a film about her. Then Rolf was not yet a believer, he just seemed to have a fascinating story. The documentary film "The Silent Witness", which he made, won a BAFTA award in 1978 and brought the shroud to the attention of the whole world. “The film did not in any way claim that the relic was genuine, but it did ask questions such as how the image of a crucified man got on the fabric and whether it coincides chronologically with the time of the life of Christ,” says Rolf. The director, by his own admission, was most impressed when he shot the shroud on film for the first time and saw that the image of the dead face on the negatives showed up much more clearly: “It was like it was created in the era of photography”.

In the mid-1980s, the Vatican, which owned the shroud, agreed to study it and date it by radiocarbon dating. Three laboratories - the University of Arizona, the University of Oxford and the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich - blindly and independently studied the samples and made almost the same verdict: the fabric was made between 1260 and 1390, that is, the shroud is a fake.

However, Rolf is still convinced that radiocarbon dating gave an erroneous result. And he even says that he has evidence confirming this: according to the director, all testing protocols were declared invalid, but this fact was hidden. In addition, the sample used for the study was too small and taken from a corner of the canvas, which was probably repaired at a later time, that is, was not authentic.

This week his new film "Who could he be?" is released, in which Rolf claims that the shroud is not an obvious fake at all, and discoveries made in recent years can confirm this. The director is so sure of his innocence that he challenged the British Museum by betting the sum of $1 million. “If they think the shroud is a medieval forgery, let them create something similar today,” says Rolf. “From the evidence I've seen, if it's a fake, it's the smartest fake in history. And of course, it dates back to an era almost 2,000 years ago, when there were no such sophisticated methods of falsification as there are today. They say that all this is the work of medieval swindlers. Well, I answer: if they could do it, then you can even more so. And if you succeed, you'll get $1 million".

Nevertheless, the British Museum is in no hurry to get involved in the dispute. “Any ongoing questions about the shroud are best directed to those currently caring for it at Turin Cathedral”, - the museum responded.

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