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CIELT to hold Pre-Exposition International Shroud Symposium in Nice, 11-14 May 1997

CIELT (Centre International d'Études sur le Linceul de Turin), the BSTS's highly active French counterpart who held the excellent earlier Symposia in Paris and Rome, have announced that the delightful resort of Nice on France's Côte d'Azur is to be their next Symposium venue. Nice's connection with the Shroud is that it was ruled by the Shroud-owning House of Savoy between 1388 and 1860, and the Shroud itself brought there by Duchess Beatrice of Portugal, wife of Charles III Duke of Savoy, in 1536. It was then exhibited before the townspeople on March 23, 1537, remaining until 1543 when Duke Charles took it with him on moving his court to Vercelli. Nice could therefore hardly be a more worthy and attractive venue for the pre-Exposition Shroud Symposium, and Daniel Raffard de Brienne, Chairman of CIELT, has asked for the following to be conveyed to all Shroud researchers and associations:

Dear Sirs,

Following the Symposia held in Paris in 1989 and Rome in 1993, CIELT will hold its Third International Scientific Symposium in May 1997 in the town of Nice, pearl of the French Côte d'Azur, where spring is a particularly delightful season.

Nice has strong links with the Shroud as a result of it having been kept there in 1537, when the town belonged to the Dukes of Savoy. There is both a beautiful old chapel and a Confraternity of 'Pénitents Rouges' [Red Penitents], both of which carry the name Holy Shroud.

Our Symposium will coincide with celebrations in May 1997 to mark the annual feast day of the Holy Shroud and the four hundred and sixtieth anniversary of the arrival of the relic in Nice. The Pénitents Rouges will organize the solemnities. On May 11 these will take the form of the special Mass of the Holy Shroud, instituted by Pope Julius II in 1506. This will be pontifically celebrated by a Cardinal, and there will be a procession of all the Pénitents brothers.

The speakers at the Symposium, and the organisers, will be officially received by civic dignitaries. Guided tours of Nice and its environs will be arranged for all participants, to show them those places with special links to the Shroud. There are also plans for a coach trip to Turin on May 14.

The Symposium itself will be held from Monday 12 to Tuesday 13 May on the famous Promenade des Anglais, facing the Mediterranean Sea. Speakers will deliver their papers in both French and English, according to their preference, with simultaneous translation into the other language. A major session for general members of the public is planned for the evening of May 13, at which leading international sindonologists will be in the chair.

As the Symposium will be a preparatory one for that to be held in 1998 by our colleagues of Turin's Shroud Centro, the programme will be as follows;

1. Papers on History and Iconography.

Because the Rome symposium concentrated on the period from AD30 to 1204, the focus will now be on the French phase of the Shroud's history, i.e. from 1204 to 1578, though there is no reason why related topics, such as on the frescoes of Cappadocia, could not also be addressed.

2. Scientific Papers.

Here the main aim will be to formulate, between the different Shroud groups and individuals represented, and taking account of the progress on different lines of research, a complete and coherent set of proposals for submission to the Shroud's Custodian (i.e. Cardinal Saldarini), in the hope that, subject to his approval, work on these might be carried out in the wake of the expositions of AD 1998 and 2000.

There may be other papers which could be allowed by our scientific committee in liaison with the Turin Centro.

As from now we are formally requesting all sindonologists who would be interested in speaking on the above topics to send us the title and abstract of their proposed papers just as soon as possible. In due course we will let you know all necessary information concerning accommodation arrangements for those coming to Nice. We should be able to arrange very good prices for the town's hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments.

Daniel Raffard de Brienne, Chairman of CIELT, Paris, 15 February 1996

All BSTS members are warmly encouraged to support CIELT's initiative. Enquiries should be addressed directly to CIELT at 50 Avenue des Ternes, 75017 Paris, tel. Paris 45 72 53 81; fax 45 72 55 90

More News From CIELT

According to the most recently received issue of CIELT's Lettre Mensuelle (March), from the next issue their hitherto monthly publication, the French counterpart of BSTS Newsletter will become quarterly, but will include the translation of every scientific article into English for the benefit of English- speaking readers. The Editors write: 'We expect everyone interested in Sindonology to emphasise this major step towards internationalisation of our Review and to advertise such a transformation.' Indeed, this step is as warmly welcomed as the Symposium, and it is hoped will further the Anglo-French cooperation Shroud-wise, whatever may be the political squabbles within the European Union!


Centre International d'Études sur le Linceul de Turin L'Identification Scientifique de l'Homme du Linceul Jésus de Nazareth, Actes du Symposium Scientifique International Rome 1993, published under the direction of A.A.Upinsky, Paris, François-Xavier Guibert, 1995, 30 x 20 cm, 12 pp. colour plates, numerous b & w illustrations, 424 pp., publication price 350 francs.

At last! It was perhaps over-ambitious of CIELT to have hoped to publish this volume a year ago, bearing in mind its scale, and the complexities of reproducing often highly technical papers in three different languages by authors widely scattered across the world. But the wait has been well worthwhile, and CIELT are to be most warmly congratulated on a publication that cost-wise would certainly never have been attempted in the U.K., and probably not in the U.S. either, let alone Australia!

Certainly, for anyone with a working knowledge of French, and looking for a single source for the latest on serious lines of Shroud research, this Actes could hardly be bettered. Papers by French authors, although only reproduced in toto in that language, are accompanied by a reasonable length abstract in English giving the gist of the argument.

And particularly historically, there are some extremely important French contributions, including those by the late Prof.Jérôme Lejeune on the Pray manuscript, by Michel Bergeret on the 'missing years' 1204-1357, by Prof.Yvonne Bongert on Christ iconography, and by Dominican Père Dubarle on the Gregory the Referendarius homily. In Italian there is also Professor Gino Zaninotto's findings on the Codex Vossianus. From the leading American contributors there appears in English Prof. Leoncio Garza-Valdes's first definitive paper on his finding of the bioplastic 'varnish' that may have skewed the carbon dating; Los Angeles artist Isabel Piczek's most authoritative demonstration that the Shroud could not be by the hand of a painter, Drs. Adler and Schwalbe's recommendations regarding the Shroud's conservation; Dr.John Jackson's findings of fresh evidence for the Shroud being one and the same as the Mandylion, and a moving 'second opinion' on Dr.Pierre Barbet's now historic work by veteran pathologist Dr.Robert Bucklin. The BSTS is represented by a paper by Ian Dickinson on the cubit measure, while from Russia there appears, also in English, Drs Ivanov and Kouznetsov's arguments for the radiocarbon dating having been miscalculated.

There are the occasional publishing mistakes, such as mis-placed captions, and English-speaking readers will find some translations and typographical errors that jar in a work that is otherwise of such high publication quality. But these should not be allowed to detract from the huge achievement that this book represents in being put together at all.

A must for every serious Shroud researcher, copies can be obtained on application to CIELT at 50 Av.des Ternes 75017 Paris. There was a preferential price of 290FF which pertained to 6 January of this year, but unless this has been extended (and enquiries regarding this can be addressed to CIELT on fax no.Paris 45 72 55 90), the official price is now 350FF payable by international bankers draft.

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