The Turin Shroud is neither the cloth in which Christ's body was wrapped nor a medieval forgery, but the work of an early Renaissance artist, a book has claimed.
Luciano Buso, an Italian art historian, claims to have found the signature "Giotto" hidden in the 14ft-long, sepia-coloured burial cloth, as well as the number 15. The historian believes it is a reference to 1315, and the year in which the Florentine artist Giotto di Bondone was commissioned to come up with an exact copy of the relic because the original was badly damaged.
Mr Buso said his theory agreed with modern carbon dating tests. He said that he believes the original was indeed the sheet used to cover Christ's body but that it disintegrated, was lost or burned some time after the copy was made. He claims to have found Giotto's name hidden in the imprint of Christ's face and hands.
His theory will revive the centuries-old debate over the relic's authenticity. (© Daily Telegraph, London)