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Millions expected to view Turin Shroud in rare display

3:28am IST - 01:46

The Shroud of Turin, the linen some Christians believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, is to go on display in a rare exposition that is expected to attract millions of visitors. Pavithra George reports.

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The Cathedral of Turin in northern Italy gets ready for a rare display of the Shroud of Turin - a yellowing piece of linen revered by some believers as Christ's burial cloth and dismissed by skeptics as a hoax and a tourist trap. The shroud, that measures 14 feet, bears an image some worshippers say is that of Christ. The length of the cloth is marked by what some believe are drops of blood from wounds in the wrists and feet. Carbon dating tests in 1988 placed the cloth in the 12th or 13th centuries, causing a sensation -- and prompting some hard-core believers to challenge the scientific results. Even the Catholic Church doesn't claim the Shroud's authenticity, but says it should be a powerful reminder of Christ's passion. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ARCHBISHOP OF TURIN, CESARE NOSIGLIA, SAYING: "In regards to the scientific aspect and research, where we still don't see consensus, the Church has nothing against the continuation of the research. What matters most, for the pilgrims and for the Church, is that when facing the shroud, people feel in their hearts an incessant and constant recollection of what Jesus has done and what Jesus has given to humanity." Some visitors who got a chance to see the Shroud at a preview event on Saturday described being touched by the shroud and its history. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) VISITOR ANGELA PINTO SAYING: "Seeing the shroud really makes you hold your breath and afterwards you really start to reflect on what you have seen, it is a very emotional experience." The Shroud, which goes on display on Sunday, was last seen in 2010. Authorities expect the Shroud to attract millions of pilgrims, including the Pope himself who will pay a visit to the Cathedral in June.

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Millions expected to view Turin Shroud in rare display

3:28am IST - 01:46