Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Turin Shroud Likely Produced By Giotto
In the end someone is going to have to replicate the method in which the shroud was created before this will come to an end. The carbon 14 dating has always been pretty compelling and tracing the image itself back to a known artist who did not see himself as pulling a fast one takes us a long way down that road.
We do not know to what extent the divinity of Jesus the man was accepted by his contemporaries and to what extent artifact would even have been preserved. Recall that all Roman Emperors of the time were considered divine and none of their artifacts made it anywhere. It is very difficult to preserve a chain of custody for even a couple of hundred years even when you have local museums working to preserve such artifacts.
What we have is a line of custody that is several centuries long. For a line to extend three times as far back into the past, the probability to overcome is three orders of magnitude worse. In fairness, we do not have any extant institutions from 2000 years ago and have a bare minimum of the libraries of the time. That includes the contents of the Old Testament with its built in system of replication.
Even the shroud experienced moth attacks since 1315AD.
is a fake created by famous master Giotto, claims Italian art expert Turin
Last updated at 10:25 AM on 8th June 2011
The Shroud of
was made by medieval artist Giotto, it was claimed yesterday. Turin
The 14ft length of fabric, said to be the burial cloth of Christ, bears a faint image of a man and appears to be stained by blood.
However carbon-dating tests have suggested it was produced between 1260 and 1390.
Controversy: An art critic has claimed the Shroud of Turin, an ancient linen sheet revered by some Christians as the burial cloth that wrapped Christ's body after his crucifixion, was created by the Italian master Giotto
Now Italian art expert Luciano Buso has suggested that the original cloth deteriorated and Giotto was asked to make a copy.
Controversy: The face on the shroud
After months of careful examination of photographs of the Shroud - the relic is kept locked away and not available to be viewed unless on special occasions - Luciano Buso has come up with an idea worthy of a Da Vinci Code thriller.
He says that several veiled appearances of the number 15, hidden in the fabric by the artist, indicate Giotto created the Shroud in 1315 - and that it is a copy of the original which had been damaged and was then lost over the centuries.
Giotto was perhaps the best known artist of his time and was made famous for his decoration of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, the fresco that depicts the life of the Virgin Mary and Christ.
Mr Buso insists that 700 years ago it was common practice for artists to insert partial dates into their works so as to guarantee their authenticity and it was known only to a handful of people so as to avoid forgeries.
His claims, which form part of a new book he has written, would coincide with 1980's carbon dating - which has been dismissed by the Church - and which puts the Shroud's origins in the early 14th century.
Buso, who is based in Treviso, northern Italy, said: 'I have examined extremely clear photos of the Shroud and spotted a number of occurrences of the number 15, in the face, the hands, and in one case even shaped to look like a long cross.
'He wasn't trying to fake anything, which is clear from the fact that he signed it ''Giotto 15'', to authenticate it as his own work from 1315. This was not a fake he was asked to make a copy of the original one.
'This original one was probably so deteriorated the Church asked one of the greatest artists at the time, Giotto, to make a copy and then the original was lost. What we have now is a copy of that one.
'For obvious reasons it was not widely publicised that it was a copy as that would have had repercussions for the Church - who I understand have been dismissive of my theory but I am confident that I am correct.'
No-one at Turin Cathedral where the Shroud is kept was available for comment but Professor Bruno Barberis, director of the Shroud Museum, said: 'I think the theory is ridiculous.
'His claim that Giotto made the Shroud are not very convincing to me and as far as we are concerned it was not made by an artistic method. Many people claim to have seen Greek and Hebrew writing in the Shroud but it's never been proven.
'We believe that the image on the Shroud was made by the body of a man who was tortured and then crucified - however there are still many tests that need to be carried out to prove one way or another what it's origins are.'
Last year Pope Benedict spent several minutes kneeling in front of the linen cloth, after it went on display for only the fifth time in 100 years and he was one of two million people who saw it during a six week viewing.
The Shroud has captivated the imagination of historians, church elders, sceptics and Catholics for more than 500 years.
Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was obsessed by it and wanted to steal it so he could use it in a black magic ceremony, a monk revealed for the first time last year.
The 14ft-long Shroud bears the faint image of the front and back of a tall, long-haired, bearded man and appears to be stained by blood from wounds in his feet, wrists and side.
had intended for the Shroud's next display to be 2025 but in 2009 Pope Benedict
announced it would be brought forward 15 years. Vatican
For centuries debate has raged whether the image is that of Christ or an expert forgery from the Middle Ages but what is certain is that experts have never really been able to explain how the image was made.
Carbon-dating tests were conducted on the cloth in 1988 and suggested it was from between 1260 and 1390, other scientists have since claimed that contamination over the ages, from water damage and fire, were not taken sufficiently into account and could have distorted the results.
As a result of controversy and the fact that dating techniques have improved significantly since the 1988 tests were done, there have been numerous calls for further testing but the Vatican has always refused.
The Shroud was given to the
archbishop in 1578 by the Duke of
and has been kept in the Cathedral ever since. Savoy