Viewing Shroud of Turin Exhibition: The relic will be displayed from April 18 to June 14, 1998.

Travel Q&A

September 21, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Will it be possible to view the Shroud of Turin next year?

Despite a fire last April that nearly destroyed the chapel that housed it, the Shroud of Turin, venerated by many as the burial cloth of Jesus, will be publicly displayed in Turin from April 18 to June 14, 1998, and again in the year 2000. The 1998 exhibition marks the 500th anniversary of the consecration of the Turin Cathedral.

Because the damage caused by the fire was extensive and the 17th-century chapel -- the traditional home of the shroud -- has yet to be restored, the archdiocese said it could not yet provide details on where the shroud will be shown.

By next year, the shroud will have a new display case, a large bulletproof, waterproof and sealed glass reliquary that will allow the entire 14-foot-long linen cloth to be viewed. Until the fire, the shroud had been kept in the chapel, rolled up in a silver coffin. behind a bulletproof glass screen. Examinations of the shroud after the fire found that the linen cloth itself had not been damaged.

The shroud has been surrounded by controversy, mainly about whether it dates to the time of Jesus or, as carbon testing done on samples of the shroud concluded in 1988, to the Middle Ages. Since the cloth arrived in Turin in 1578, it has rarely been on view; in this century it was displayed in 1931, 1933 and 1978. In 1978, more than 3 million people made the pilgrimage to see it.

It will not cost anything to view the shroud. The archdiocese plans to take reservations by an international toll-free number. A Web site -- http: //www.shroud.com -- will contain updates on the exhibitions.

Pub Date: 9/21/97

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