The May 2000 Shroud Imaging Conference

May 6, 2000
The Sanctuary of the Shroud
San Felice Circeo, Italy



The Sanctuary of the Shroud

All photos ©2000 Barrie Schwortz

San Felice Circeo is located along the western Italian coast about midway between Rome and Naples. This is the small but spectacularly beautiful city immortalized by Homer in the "Odyssey" as the place Ulysses was smitten by the captivating Circe and fell under her legendary spell. It is also the home of the Sanctuary of Shroud, a beautiful church built and dedicated to the Shroud of Turin, with a lifesize color photograph of the cloth prominently displayed behind the altar. It was in this beautiful setting that Don Augusto Bonelli, Parish Priest and Rector of the Sanctuary, served as the gracious host of an imaging conference with the theme, "The Shroud, from Photography to Tridimensionality."

The Sanctuary of the Shroud
Note the lifesize Shroud photograph behind the altar (right)

The conference speakers were invited to present papers dealing with the image of the Shroud, and Prof. Emanuela Marinelli served as Conference Coordinator. Speakers at the event included Prof. Nello Ballosino, imaging expert from the Turin University and Vice-President of the Turin Center for Shroud Studies; Dr. Jose Humberto Cardoso Resende, Shroud researcher, Founder and President of the Association of the Holy Shroud in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Aldo Guerreschi, professional photographer and Shroud image expert from Turin; Prof.ssa Emanuela Marinelli, world renown Shroud researcher of the Collegamento pro Sindone in Rome; and Barrie Schwortz, Editor & Publisher of The Shroud of Turin Website, Los Angeles, California. Also invited to participate but unable to attend were Dr. Alexander Belyakov, researcher and Founder of the Holy Shroud Center in Moscow, Russia and G. B. Judica Cordiglia of Turin, who made the first color photograph of the Shroud in 1969 and whose photograph is displayed in the Sanctuary.

San Felice Circeo

Considering the rather rural nature of San Felice Circeo, the conference was surprisingly well-attended with the opening ceremonies officiated by the Mayor of the city. I wish to personally thank Don Augusto Bonelli for his great kindness and friendship and send my special thanks to the wonderful people of San Felice Circeo who opened their hearts and homes to us and made us feel truly welcome.

Don Augusto Bonelli
Conference Sponsor

One of the interesting highlights for me was the fact that the conference was presented entirely in the Italian language. I extend a special thank you to Emanuela Marinelli who spent quite a few hours at her computer the day before the conference translating my paper into Italian for me. During my presentation, she also kindly acted as my interpreter and read the paper in Italian, one paragraph at a time, so the conference attendees could understand it. Of course, this caused my paper to take twice as long to present as any of the others, so I should probably also thank the attendees for their patience.

Emanuela Marinelli

Since the conference, I have gotten several of the papers translated into English so I could include them on the website. You will find links to these included below where available. I hope to add the paper presented by Prof.ssa Emanuela Marinelli at some time in the future. It is titled, "Il primo congresso sudamericano sull sacra Sindone" and discusses the first South American Conference on the Holy Shroud sponsored and organized by Dr. Jose Resende.

Aldo Guerreschi

Aldo is a professional photographer in Turin and the administrator of the 1931 Enrie negatives. Years ago, as an employee at the Dutto Brothers Photography Studios in Turin, Aldo worked directly in the darkroom with Giuseppe Enrie and personally printed his negatives for him. Years later, Aldo acquired the studio along with the rights to Enrie's negatives. He continues to use the originals to make excellent prints and do innovative research on the Shroud's image.

The Turin Shroud: from the photo to the three-dimensional by Aldo Guerreschi  (.pdf format) [277k] (illustrated with 9 photographs) In this paper Aldo has perfected an established photographic enhancement technique to clearly visualize the dimensional characteristics encoded in the Shroud image. See the next paper for a detailed description of this technique

The Turin Shroud and Photo-Relief Technique by Aldo Guerreschi  (.pdf format) [261k] (illustrated with 8 photographs) In this paper Aldo explains the technique in detail. This and the previous paper overlap in some areas, but the combined information is so critical to the understanding of this important Shroud image property that I am including both on the site. Two must-read papers for anyone seriously interested in understanding the science of the image.

Nello Ballosino

I hope to add the imaging paper presented by Prof. Nello Ballosino at some time in the future. It is titled, "Indagini fotografiche e informatiche sull'immagine della Sindone." Professor Ballosino was a student and colleague of the late Professor Tamburelli and collaborated with him in their ground breaking imaging research. In the late 1970's they used computers to reveal and visualize the dimensional (3-D) characteristics of the Shroud image. Interestingly, this was around the same time the STURP team visualized these same qualities with the VP-8 Image Analyzer. Today he continues his Shroud research as a professor of computer imaging at the University of Turin.

Jose Resende

I hope to add the paper presented by Dr. Jose Resende at some time in the future. It is titled, "Anatomia dell'Uomo della Sindone" and it discussed the anatomical features visible on the man of the Shroud.

Emanuela Marinelli and Barrie Schwortz

Is The Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? A Critical Examination of the Theory by Barrie M. Schwortz  (.pdf format) [308k] (illustrated with 7 photographs). In this paper the "proto-photography" theory of Nicholas Allen is examined in detail. Allen proposes that the Shroud image is actually the product of a medieval photographer who used a camera obscura with a crystal lens to "photograph" a corpse onto linen cloth and Allen actually produced such an image using medieval raw materials. In this paper, Allen's results are evaluated in a side-by-side comparison with the image on the Shroud and some of the more sophisticated properties of the Shroud image are explained in detail. This link is to an updated version of the paper that was presented at the "Sindone 2000" Worldwide Congress in Orvieto, Italy, in August 2000.


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