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SHROUD OF TURIN NO FAKE, AUTHOR SAYS

A Swiss archaeologist said Thursday she had proved beyond all doubt that the Shroud of Turin, one of Christianity's most mysterious and controversial relics, did wrap the body of Christ and was not a medieval fake.

She said new research in Paris had also shown that what appear to be the words "Jesus Nazareth" were written on the cloth shortly after the body was wrapped in it.

"This is the only document on Earth that proves the material presence of Christ 2,000 years ago," Maria Grazia Siliato told a news conference in Rome to present her book, "Shroud."

Ms. Siliato hopes her book will finally give the lie to carbon-dating tests in 1988 by three laboratories in England, the United States and Switzerland that concluded the fragile linen sheet, which bears the apparently blood-stained image of a crucified man, was a 13th- or 14th-century forgery.

Ms. Siliato said the carbon-14 tests were wrong because the fragment tested was a corner of the cloth repaired five times since 1400. That explained why the 1988 tests differed about the shroud's age, dating it from between 1260 and 1390.

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