London Times (July 7 1996)
by Andrew Palmer
Coin imprint opens new
THE discovery of a faint image of an ancient
Roman coin has reinvigorated a centuries-old
debate over the age of the Turin shroud.
Two Italian professors in Turin say the coin's
imprint lends credence to the theory that the shroud
is the burial cloth of Christ.
Nello Balossino, a professor of computer science,
and Pier Luigi Baima Bollone, an expert in forensic
medicine in Turin, say in an article published today
in Avvenire, the Roman Catholic daily paper, that
they have identified an image of a coin bearing the
date corresponding to AD29 near the left eye of the
face on the cloth. Christ is believed to have died
Carbon-dating has shown that the cloth, which has
been kept in Turin cathedral since 1587, was made
between 1260 and 1390.
The Catholic church accepted the results of the test,
but many still argue that the human impression on
the shroud was made by Christ after he was taken
down from the cross.
The church has reacted cautiously to the news. "I
believe above all that science should have the last
word on this latest result," said Giuseppe Ghiberti,
a Catholic theologian and assistant to the shroud's
papal custodian. "But if this discovery is confirmed,
it would have important consequences."