What attempts have been made to show how the images were faked?

Walter McCrone

Over the years, there have been many attempts to show how a faker of relics might have created the image. Starting shortly after the STURP examination of the Shroud in 1978, Walter McCrone had argued that it was a painting. But when that was proven wrong, other explanations were tried.

  • Emily Craig, a forensic anthropologist, argued that it was a portrait in pigment dust that was transferred to a piece of cloth by rubbing.
  • Joe Nickell, a paranormal investigator and columnist for Skeptical Inquirer magazine tried to create an image by daubing dry pigment onto a piece of cloth.
  • Two conspiracy theory authors, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, proposed that it was a medieval photograph, perhaps made by Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Nicholas Allen, a professor of art in South Africa, tried to actually show how a life-sized photograph could be made using a room-sized camera.
  • Nathan Wilson, an English teacher at a small, mid-western, Fundamentalist Christian college, very much convinced that the Shroud was fake because it contradicted his literal reading of the Gospel of John, set out to show how the image could be made by sun-bleaching unbleached linen with a mask painted on a pane of glass.
  • As recently as October of 2009, Luigi Garlaschelli, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia in Italy, created an image that looked very much like the Shroud. It was a body rubbing and bas-relief rubbing of a face mask with a pigment laced with acid. The acid etched an image onto the cloth’s fibers that was noticeable after the pigment was washed away.

All of these attempts were ingenious and while they created images that looked something like the images on the Shroud, they failed to recreate essential characteristics of the images. The images have not yet been reproduced despite many attempts to do so.

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