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New study suggests Shroud of Turin older than estimate

New claims regarding the age of the Shroud of Turin come as a Vatican-sanctioned special broadcast Saturday from Turin Cathedral.

The rare appearance of the shroud is the first time in 40 years that it has been on TV, writes Guardian reporter Lizzy Davies from Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI sanctioned the special 90-minute broadcast before he resigned. The Vatican describes it as his parting gift to the Roman Catholic church. It will be introduced in a preamble by his successor, Pope Francis.

Vatican officials say it will be a message of intense spiritual scope.

While 1988 carbon dating suggested that the Shroud of Turin is a fraud dating from the Middle Ages, a new study suggests otherwise, Davies reported.

Giulio Fanti, associate professsor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, claims tests show that the cloth, which bears the image of a man’s face and body, dates from between 280 BC and 220 AD. He said the carbon dating used in 1988 wasn’t reliable.

Fanti’s results are reported in the new book, “Il Misterio dela Sindone” (The Mystery of hte Shroud).

The broadcast will air on the Italian channel Rai; however, those with smart phones will be able to look at the shroud at their leisure via a multilingual app providing detailed images.

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