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Sepia-yellow in color, the apparent frontal and dorsal imprints of a man's body may be discerned on this 4.3 X 1.1-m linen cloth.
Stains of a slightly darker carmine or rust color, with the appearance of blood, are seen in areas consistent with the biblical account of the scourging and crucifixion of Christ.
OF ALL RELIGIOUS RELICS, the reputed burial cloth of Christ held since 1578 in Turin has generated the greatest controversy.
Centuries before science cast the issue in a totally new perspective, disputes over the authenticity of the Shroud involved eminent prelates and provoked a minor ecclesiastical power struggle.
Appearing as it did in an age of unparalleled relic-mongering and forgery and, if genuine, lacking documentation of its whereabouts for 1,300 years, the Shroud would certainly have long ago been consigned to the ranks of spurious relics (along with several other shrouds with similar claims) were it not for the extraordinary image it bears.
This discovery of course created a sensation in the media, with claims of miraculous intervention and accusations of darkroom hoax.