The Shroud at Parque Bicentenario
By Sandra Rios
For the first time in Latin America, Parque Bicentenario in Silao presents the exhibition “The Shroud, Studies of the Sacred Cloth,” which will remain until January 30, 2015, when it will be sent to major cities worldwide.
With permission of the Vatican, a replica was made of the shroud—which was allegedly used to wrap and bury the body of Jesus of Nazareth. The exhibition demonstrates a multidisciplinary analysis conducted by forensic medical science through criminology, archaeology, history, theology, and art. Through 12 showrooms, visitors can admire actual pieces, such as a Roman spear from the 1st century BC, an ointment used by Jews for their burials from the 2nd century BC, 30 silver coins linked to Judas, and a reliquary from the 18th century, containing an original piece of the shroud and sealed by Pope Benedict XIV.
Álvaro Blanco Cruz, a Spanish businessman who is the curator, producer, and director of this exhibition, says, “The shroud is a hidden negative, which acquires its real look when it goes to the positive. We know that what forms the image is a kind of dehydration of thread. But we don’t know the kind of energy or radiation that produces this phenomenon.” According to Blanco, when a photograph of the shroud was taken in 1890, it was discovered that it was a huge negative. Radioactivity was also found on an X-ray plate, so they concluded the shroud behaves like an X-ray. “For example, they found that within it was a cranial structure,” he says. “The shroud has three dimensions, and actually the original image is radiation. It has been studied from the point of view of hundreds of forensic doctors, and all have concluded that the shroud shows the image of a real man. It was found that a wound was made on the right side between the fifth and sixth rib, and it crossed up to the shoulder blade. The blood from the wound ran from a body that was already dead. The Bible says that water flowed from Jesus’ wounds when they introduced the lance. Forensics say that what actually flowed was pulmonary edema. They concluded that the man died of extreme pain.”
The sudarium, the mortuary cloth that covered Jesus’ face, will be shown at the exhibition. It appeared in 1012, in Oviedo. According to Blanco, experts have established that the sudarium was placed on the head of a lifeless man since the blood that impregnated the fabric was not vital. There are 45 points of correspondence between the shroud and the sudarium of Oviedo in the blood stains on front, face, and neck. The bleeding points are exactly in the same place on both fabrics. The medical examiners concluded that the man of the shroud and the one of the sudarium are the same.
years, made a sculpture of the body of Christ with all the bruises and physical features that the shroud shows. From the scientific point of view, Blanco states, “There is something here that has no explanation. How is it possible that in the 1st, 3rd, or even in the 10th century, someone could make a huge negative? Only with today’s technology can we see it. In the 11th century, people looked at the shroud and could not see what we see because they lacked tmodern technology. The shroud is unfalsifiable.”
Paolo Di Lazzaro, a scientist from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development of Italy (ENEA), tested by irradiating a piece of linen cloth similar to the one of the shroud with a 10,000-volt laser and managed to make a three-centimeter spot with the same properties as the ones on the shroud.
If Lazzaro had to use a 10, 000-volt laser to radiate only three centimeters, Blanco asked him how much it would take to make the whole image of the shroud. Lazzaro answered that it would take 10,000 lasers with the power of three nuclear plants running for a whole day facing the front of the fabric to do it in one fell swoop.
“Seven years ago we were doing audio-guide systems for museums, and we discovered the sudarium of Oviedo. Since then, I started studying the history, and I find it fascinating,” said Blanco. He added that for seven years he has been dedicated to collecting pieces and history worldwide to get the largest exhibition to date with all the studies and all the information regarding the shroud. This exhibition began in 2012 in Malaga, Spain, and has since traveled to several different countries. The goal is to bring it to the world’s major cities. “The government of Guanajuato contacted us with an understanding that it was an attractive exhibition from the cultural point of view, and the topic might be interesting to Guanajuato people,” he said. “So far DNA studies of the shroud have not been done. I guess it is because of the fear people have, as it was feared when they took the picture. Today the owner, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, says that DNA has the risk of being manipulated. I’m also very interested to know what type of genome it contains. In that way a great mystery surrounding the shroud would be solved since the blood could lead us to a true conclusion,” said Blanco.
The Shroud at Parque Bicentenario. Cost: Adults 25 pesos. Children 10 pesos. Wednesday: free access to the park
Hours: Tues-Sun, 10am-8pm
Toll Road Silao-Guanajuato. Km 3.8, Tel. 472 723 8000
Juan Manuel Miñarro, sculptor and researcher on the shroud for more than 15