Shroud of Turin to be on display

April 11, 2010 at 3:40 PM
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TURIN, Italy, April 11 (UPI) -- The shroud of Turin, believed by some Christians to be the burial cloth of Jesus, is on display for the first time since its 2002 restoration, officials say.

The shroud is expected to draw around 2 million people -- including Pope Benedict XVI -- to Turin Cathedral in Italy while on display for six weeks, CNN reported Sunday.

The 2002 restoration removed a patchwork repair done by 16th-century nuns after a fire damaged the cloth, CNN said.

The authenticity of the shroud has long been in dispute, with many scholars like church historian Antonio Lombatti saying it dates only from the Middle Ages.

"The shroud owner said it in 1355 ... the local bishop said it was a forgery and even the pope of that time said it was a fake," Lombatti said.

The Catholic Church's official position on the shroud calls it an important tool for faith regardless of its authenticity, CNN said.

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