2 July 2009


I watched the documentary on FIVE last night about the Turin (or Da Vinci) Shroud. It was a very strange experience, mostly in a televisual sense. Somehow, the one hour programme contained only 20-40 minutes of footage, and there was a strange editing fault which resulted in large parts of the programme being repeated several times over!

In terms of content, most of it was the same as I had already seen or read elsewhere, though it seemed to be dumbed-down for the FIVE audience. The new content related to the hypothesis that the image on the shroud was created using a camera obscura and photo-sensitive silver substances on a sheet of fabric. I found this to be quite persuasive and I would have liked to have seen more of the demonstration experiment they set up. Instead, they seemed to concentrate on trying to link the whole thing to Leonardo Da Vinci. I found these arguments to be much less than convincing.

Ultimately, it makes no difference to me. I'm convinced that the shround is not the genuine burial shroud of Christ already. I was just interested to see how the image had been formed, as it's claimed that the evidence is not consistent with a painted image or print.

The big news in this story, though, is that this may well be the oldest surviving photographic image! Now that's interesting.

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