An Italian art historian claims the Shroud of Turin was the creation of the early Renaissance artist Giotto, based on a signature of the artist he claims to have found hidden in the sepia-coloured burial cloth.
Luciano Buso said that apart from Giotto di Bondone’s signature, he also found the number 15 – which he believes is a reference to 1315, and that the artist was commissioned in that year to come up with an exact copy of the relic because the original was badly damaged after centuries of being hawked around the Holy Land and Europe, the Telegraph reports..
Mr Buso, who has laid out his controversial thesis in a new book, said the idea that the existing shroud was created in 1315 agrees with modern carbon dating tests which dated the fabric to the early 14th century.
He told theÂ Telegraph that he believes the original was indeed the sheet used to cover Christ’s body but that it disintegrated, or was lost or burned, sometime after the copy was made.
After months of analysis, he claims to have found several 15s and Giotto’s name hidden in the imprint of Christ’s face and hands â€“ a means by which the artist stamped his mark on his work.
But these had not been detected by any of the dozens of experts who have pored over the shroud because they were created by cryptic patterns of brushstrokes and are almost invisible to the naked eye, he said.
Prof Bruno Barberis, the director of the Shroud of Turin Museum, was highly sceptical of the theory.
“Firstly, physical and chemical tests have shown that the shroud is not a painting.
“Secondly, there’s a long list of scholars who have enlarged images of the shroud and seen all sorts of things that don’t exist â€“ a crown of thorns, words in Aramaic and Greek and Latin. “It’s like looking at the moon and thinking you can see eyes, a nose and a mouth.”
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Turin Shroud ‘the creation of a Renaissance artist’ (Telegraph.co.uk)