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The British Museum has been challenged to prove that the famous Shroud of Turin is a fake – and there's around £770,000 on the line.
BAFTA award winning filmmaker David Rolfe has made the offer, as the museum has long claimed that the image was a medieval forgery, not the imprint of the face of Jesus Christ many believe it to be.
In 1978, Rolfe produced a documentary called The Silent Witness, where he investigated the truth behind the ancient relic, and has also claimed that 1988 carbon dating tests proving it was fake are not reliable.
The shroud was first debunked in 1389, but in 2013 Pope Francis said it was an “icon of a man scourged and crucified”.
Having now created a new documentary on the same topic of the famed-linen cloth, Rolfe has challenged the museum to prove once again that it is a fake.
A statement on his website announcing the $1 million bounty said: “If the Museum takes up this challenge the producers will supply a number of linen cloths of the Shroud’s dimensions to the Museum to give them the optimum opportunity of success.
“Below is the list of known and verified characteristics of the image that must be reproduced.
"Depth of colour penetration equal to 0.2 micrometre, which corresponds to the thickness of the primary cell wall of the linen fibre. The cellulose of the medulla is colourless.
"Half tone effect, where the shading of the image is due to the areal density of the fibres that each have the same colour, i.e., the same RGB value.
"The fibres are uniformly coloured round their cylindrical surface.
"The front and back images of the body show almost the same colour intensity, i.e., we cannot appreciate which image is more contrasted, front or back.
"T he images must be permanent on the linen for a period of at least one year, and only known medieval techniques and substances can be used.
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‘The producers have limited the chosen characteristics to those which can easily be attested and adjudicated by a neutral panel.”
Rolfe has given the organisation six months from Easter Sunday, 2022 (April 17) to accept or decline the challenge.
If accept the bounty will be placed in escrow pending the results, as long as Rolfe's crew are allowed to film the process.
The museum has yet to respond to the challenge, or the Daily Star's request for comment.
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