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Old 31 December 2009, 07:12 PM
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Silkenray Silkenray is offline
 
Join Date: 04 September 2005
Location: East Anglia, UK
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There are reasons not to keep testing and retesting. Radiocarbon dating is an inherently destructive dating method - meaning that each time a test is done, a sample must be taken. Also, a cloth of this age is inherently fragile, and handling always carries a risk of damage. Add that light exposure during testing can break chemical bonds in the fibers, blood/pigments etc and cause permanent and cumulative damage...

It's so selfish of these people to ask for further testing just because the answer isn't the one they'd like. If they're right, they're risking the longevity of a holy artifact of God just to prove a point. If they're wrong, they're harming a fascinating object of immense historical interest to the rest of us for no good reason.

The light exposure issue would probably help explain why the Shroud isn't on regular display, though. If you do go to see it when it is displayed, don't be surprised if it is displayed in a very, very dim room.

(sorry, Art Conservation student here. )
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