That moneymaking Shroud of Turin
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The archdiocese of Turin, Italy has announced that the Shroud of Turin will be on display this April and May. Normally it is put on public display once only every twenty-five years and the last time it was displayed in this manner was in 1998. An exception was made for the new millenium as the year 2000 was declared an official Holy Year. Another exception is being made for 2010.
Why? Fiorezo Alfieri the head of the Shroud Committee stated that the church understands "the importance to the economy and employment." That's right, it is all about helping the local economy; it's all about money. Already one million people have made reservations to see the shroud, and at least two million are expected. So, it's not out of line to expect at least a $100 million boost to the local economy through this public showing.
And all that for a fraud. After all, carbon dating conducted in 1988 established that the linen dated to the 13th or 14th century. And just last year, Luigi Garlaschelli, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, reproduced the shroud using materials and methods readily available in the middle ages. This answered the question of how the image could have come to be on the cloth.
But why let evidence get in the way of a moneymaking opportunity? So all the faithful - all those who believe the shroud actually covered Jesus's dead body - are invited to help the economy of Turin.
We, on the other hand, wouldn't try to make money out of a blatant forgery, would we?