Last week something rather unusual happened in the quiet Italian city of Turin.
Inside the 15-century cathedral, an ancient, stained, and burned piece of medieval linen was removed from its airtight, bulletproof case and put on display. The exhibition will last 67 days.
Last time the intensely controversial textile was brought out, in 2010, over 2.5 million people poured into the cathedral to see it. Or, more precisely, to see the images on the ivory-coloured fabric, which seem to depict faint life-size brown impressions of the front and back of a man.
The details of the sepia images are rather indistinct, and it was only in 1898, when a lawyer named Secondo Pia photographed the cloth, that the world was able to see the man’s horrific injuries, which showed up extraordinarily clearly on Pia’s photographic negatives.