The scientific unit of the police force in Rome, Italy, used technology that’s normally used to age an individual, to generate the angelic face of what the man in the Shroud of Turin would look like as a 12-year-old boy.
Monica Cantilero reports for Christian Times, April 30, 2015, that to commemorate two-month exhibition of the Shroud of Turin, believed by Christians to be Jesus Christ’s burial cloth, Italian police reversed the technology they use to age drawings of Mafia bosses (to identify them after decades on the run) on the image of the man imprinted into the Shroud to re-create the “angelic” face of a 12-year-old Jesus.
Note: The Shroud image is not painted on the cloth, but infused into the individual fibers of the linen cloth. There are many good books on the Shroud, one of which is my friend Robert K. Wilcox‘s The Truth About the Shroud of Turin.
The scientific unit of Rome’s police force was prompted to create the image upon the suggestion of television news reporters who were doing a special news program about Jesus.
Elena Guarnieri, the host of the television news special, said people have always wondered how Jesus looked like as a boy. “If that is the face on the shroud, then this is the face of Jesus as a child,” she said.
To create the image of the young Jesus, the police subtracted years from the man’s face imprinted on the Shroud of Turin and removed his beard. They also colored his hair blonde and lightened his complexion.
The New York Times derisively described the generated image:
“The angelic face is reminiscent of the prayer cards sold in Vatican souvenir shops and of the New Age portraits displayed at Venice Beach. The image shows a 12-year-old boy with fair, smooth skin, glassy blue eyes, fleshy lips and waves of dirty blond hair streaked with just enough purple and pink to suggest a sprinkling of cosmic dust.”
Christians believe that the Shroud of Turin, a linen cloth imprinted with the image of a man’s face and wounded body, was the cloth used to wrap the body of Jesus during his burial. But after using carbon-14 dating tests in 1988, a group of scientists ruled that it was a medieval forgery since the cloth was dated between 1260 and 1390.
Note: It was later determined that the scientists had used a piece from the edge of the Shroud, which had been stitched onto the original cloth to repair damages inflicted by a fire in the 13th century, which would explain the carbon-14 dating result.
Paul Damon, a geoscientist who was on the team that held a carbon-14 dating test on the Shroud in 1998, reacted negatively to the police recreation of Jesus’ face, saying it’s a “malarkey,” adding: “The boy would not be blond.”
Note: Actually, many dark-haired Mediterraneans do have blonde hair in their childhood.
The Vatican has not commented yet on the image of the boy created from the imprint on the Shroud.
The exhibition of the Shroud, which started last week and will last until June 24, has been authorized by Pope Francis to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco, a priest from Turin who lived in the 19th century and pioneered vocational education.