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The controversial Shroud of Turin, which many believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus, is in the spotlight again, this time for something unique. Catholics have been venerating the Shroud for centuries, and its authenticity has been hotly disputed.
In tonight's In-Depth Report, we look at a realistic model of Our Lord reproduced from the Shroud and scientific data.
They're labeling it a hyper-realistic image of the "mystery man." This mystery man is believed by many to be Jesus Christ lying in His tomb before the miracle of His resurrection.
This breathtaking artwork is now being displayed at the Cathedral of Salamanca in Spain. The "Mystery Man" is part of an exhibit that took over 15 years to complete. It will be traveling to five continents.
The exhibition opened Thursday and includes rooms for the narration of Christ's Passion and death, highlights of the Shroud, an artistic depiction of the face of Jesus, and the model of what the corpus of Christ may have looked like in the tomb — all according to historical and scientific data assiduously gathered from the Shroud of Turin.
Salamanca bishop José Luis Retana said the exhibit left a strong impression on him: "I believe that the exhibition can foster the faith of believers and arouse the faith of non-believers," he said.
While science can't explain how such an image is imbedded on a cloth from centuries ago, 32 years ago carbon dating was performed on a portion of the Shroud. It was then proclaimed to be a 14th-century medieval forgery.
Narrator, CBN News: "In 1988, carbon testing dated the Shroud back to medieval times. That has been repeatedly called into question by various experts."
Barrie Schwortz, president, STERA: "The only single sample they took did not represent anywhere else on that cloth because it had been manipulated."
Subsequent investigations, however, found the portion tested was actually part of patches placed on the shroud by medieval nuns after the Shroud caught fire.
Further tests on the Shroud found remnants of plant species compatible with those found in the Middle East in the ancient world.
And the cloth believed to be wrapped around Jesus' head in the tomb found 120 points of commonality with the Shroud, including an AB blood type.
Popes and saints have had devotions to the Shroud during the centuries.
Narrator, Unexplained Mysteries: "The modern-day Catholic Church has neither denounced nor endorsed the Shroud. It is currently housed in the Cathedral of Turin, in Italy, where it has remained since 1578."
Without judging its authenticity, Pope Francis called the Shroud an "icon of love."
As part of its worldwide tour, the "Mystery Man" exhibit will be present at World Youth Day next summer in Lisbon, Portugal.
The curator of the exhibition, Álvaro Blanco, confessed that at the moment he saw the finished body, he was convinced he was before the image of the body of Jesus of Nazareth.
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