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Three-dimensionality in the image of the Man of the Shroud of Turin.

There are two important milestones in the way in which we can currently contemplate the Shroud of Turin (known as the "Shroud of Turin"). The first took place in 1898, when Humbert of Savoy, on the occasion of his son's wedding, authorized an ostension of the Shroud, and that it be photographed by Secondo Pia, a Turinese lawyer fond of photography. When he developed the plates, he observed with clarity in the photographic negative the body and the face of a man.


From then on, the canvas began to be contemplated not only as a relic, but as something worthy of study, whose observation made it possible to deduce many details about the Gospel story of the Passion.

The second occurred in 1976, when a captain in the United States Air Force (USAF), Eric J. Jumper, privately acquired an image analysis equipment called VP-8; he was accompanied by Jack Jackson, also a captain in the USAF, to familiarize himself with the equipment; both were working as physicists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an agency of the United States Air Force (Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs).

While familiarizing themselves with the equipment's operation, among the images and photographs they analyzed, they introduced one of the face of the Man of the Shroud, noticing that the image behaved differently, showing 3D information.

Determined to study this phenomenon, they organized a convention of scientists, which drafted and sent a working protocol to Italy proposing the scientific study of the Shroud, this request was finally authorized by the House of Savoy (its owner at that time) and the Holy See. In 1978 a large group of researchers went to Turin (Italy), to study the canvas directly, after which, in 1981, they published a consensus document with the results obtained.

Since then, a series of studies and publications followed, some more controversial or sensationalist than others. In Spain, these studies continued within the Spanish Center of Sindonology (C.E.S.) founded in 1987, with headquarters in Valencia, organizing in 1990 a team of outstanding professionals in different fields of knowledge, the Research Team of the CES (EDICES), which, although dedicated during the last decades to the study of the known as "Sudarium of Oviedo, or "Sudarium Domine", was also involved later in the study of the Shroud of Turin.

The information developed and collected by EDICES, especially by matching and interweaving the forensic information present in both canvases (the one from Turin and the one from Oviedo), has allowed to increase the knowledge of such three-dimensional information; although the origin of the image of the Man of the Shroud remains an unsolved mystery, that is, how and why such three-dimensional information is present in the Shroud of Turin (not so in the Sudarium of Oviedo).

The Shroud of Turin is and remains to this day, as St. John Paul II said, "a provocation to the intelligence" (sic).

Antonio Petit Gancedo, member of the Spanish Center of Syndontology.

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