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July 13, 2009. New York, USA

The Turin Shroud — a medieval Christian relic — was made by Leonardo da Vinci, according to American scientists.

Leonardo da Vinci copied his own appearance on the Turin Shroud. The above mentioned statement was made by a number of American experts on the air of British Channel 5, states Telegraph. According to tradition, the shroud is a canvass into which the body of Christ was wrapped up after his death. His face and body remain imprinted on the cloth.

An American worker of the School of Visual Arts of New York, Lilian Shwartz says that Da Vinci used a pin hole camera (a forerunner of the photo camera) to copy his own appearance on the cloth. The image was imprinted in a dark room; the surface of it was covered by silver sulphate. This chemical was known in central Italy as early as in XV century. As a result of this the imprint became sensitive to light. After that the sun rays that shone through lenses set up on one of the walls of the room hit the fabric, and, thus, the imprint appeared.

A number of experts supported Shwartz’ supposition. “If one looks at the shroud with a naked eye, a carbon of a man’s portrait can be seen,” says an Art historian, South-African professor, Nicolas Allen. Other historians point out to the fact that if there was somebody who could work with a pin-hole camera, it was Da Vinci. Apart from that fact the maker of the Shroud must have been a heretic, somebody who was not afraid of faking a picture of Christ.

“He wanted to leave after himself something for the future, to make his own contribution; and not only for the sake of art and science, but for his own sake,” states researcher Lynn Picnet.

Supposedly, the purpose of Da Vinci’s counterfeit was to replace an earlier version of the Shroud that turned out to be “a crude fake.” It was bought in 1452 by Ludwig of Savoy and after that disappeared for fifty years. When in a mysterious way it was “found” again it was a more or less trustworthy relic, for it was made by Leonardo, says Shwartz.

At the same time a radio-carbon analysis conducted in 1988 proved that the relic was made in the period of time since 1260 till 1390.

Shwarts became known back in 1980s when she said that the face of Mona Lisa is a portrait of Da Vinci himself. To prove it, she used a computer scanning, which manifested similar proportions of the faces.

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