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Discarded when Christ left the tomb on Easter morning, the Holy Shroud was preserved by Christians to this day, eventually finding its way to Italy via Cyprus and France.
For many, the Shroud's origins have not been satisfactorily explained by scientists or skeptics and it remains one of the holiest Christian relics, not to mention an important proof of the Resurrection.
In 1983, the House of Savoy gave the relic to the Holy See.
The unique qualities of the image on the Shroud were first noticed in 1898, when Secondo Pia took the first photo of the relic.
A full restoration of the Shroud was undertaken in 2002, during which another, fainter image was found beneath a 16th-century patch.
Today, scientific studies and debates still continue and pilgrims come from across the globe to visit the .
But neither of these were said to be the burial shroud of Christ; they were made when Christ wiped his face with the cloth.
The relic of the burial shroud that is now venerated in Turin emerged in the historical record in 1354, when it was reported to be owned by the knight Geoffroi de Charnay, Seigneur de Lirey.
According to believers, the divine light and power that brought Christ back to life at the Resurrection made a unique imprint of his body on his burial shroud.Located behind the apse of Turin Cathedral, the Chapel of the Shroud has become a prominent part of the cathedral complex with its unique spiral roof.It was built by Guarino Guarini in 1668-97 and restored after a fire in 1997.It contains two images: a front and a back side of a man, as though the shroud was first wrapped underneath the body, then over his head and down to his feet.The man is thin, bearded, 5 feet 7 inches tall, and appears to suffer from wounds consistent with crucifixion.To his astonishment, the image looked far more clear and natural in the photographic negative, even having a three-dimensional quality.This discovery launched the modern investigation of the Shroud of Turin on a scientific basis, which still continues today.Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings.To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.However, Pope Benedict XVI recently announced that the Shroud will be displayed from April 10 - May 23, 2010, the longest period in its history.This will be the first opportunity for the public to view the Shroud since the extensive restorations of 2002.