Turin Shroud One of 40 Fakes: Historian

Antonio Lombatti: false shrouds got around in Middle Ages
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2012 6:10 PM CDT
Turin Shroud One of 40 Fakes: Historian
The Holy Shroud, a 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, is shown at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy.   (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, file)

The Shroud of Turin is not only fake, it's one of 40 false shrouds that circulated during Medieval times, according to an Italian expert. Citing the work of a 19th-century French historian, Antonio Lombatti claims that burial cloths were fairly common in the old Christian world, the Daily Mail reports. "Most of them were destroyed during the French Revolution," says Lombatti. "Some had images, others had blood-like stains, and others were completely white."

A paper by Lombatti, coming out this month, argues that the Turin Shroud was taken during a crusade in Smyrna, Turkey, in 1346, and given to French knight Geoffroy de Charny. His family is the first known owner of the shroud. For more recent shroud news, read about the Vatican's defense of the shroud, Hitler's desire to steal it, and a chemistry professor's creation of a fake one. (Read more Shroud of Turin stories.)

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