New technologies at the service of faith, meditation and knowledge: a new App as an Evangelization tool aimed at approaching the Holy Linen in a multimedia manner, as of March 29.
In the technology era also the Holy Shroud becomes “2.0”: as of Holy Friday 2013, the coming 29th of March, on the online Apple store it will be possible to download - in a double multilingual version, free and with fee - the first official App dedicated to the Holy Linen, created in conjunction with the special television Exposition which is scheduled on Rai Uno at Easter Eve.
The Shroud, the sheet kept in the Turin Cathedral which, by tradition, would be the one in which Jesus body was wrapped in the sepulchre as quoted in the Gospels, is no doubt one of the most intense and well-known symbols of Christianity. Although this tradition – however based on multiple evidences resulting from scientific investigations – cannot be deemed formally proved, the Shroud directly and immediately recalls the Passion of Christ, due to the features of its imprint. Hence, it becomes a tool of understanding and meditation – “mirror of the Gospel” as Pope John Paul II defined it – which on the occasion of the Year of Faith announced by the Catholic Church represents an extraordinary Evangelization vehicle.
Today, in such a global communication and technology era, Evangelization cannot disregard contemporary dialogue means, nor specific and effective presence where knowledge is originated, debates arise and people exchange experiences: the web, social media, and multimediality.
This is the framework for the development of the "Shroud 2.0" application, designed and produced by the company Haltadefinizione® based in Novara, upon authorization of the Turin Archdiocese and in collaboration with the Diocesan Commission for the Holy Shroud and the Holy Shroud Museum. An achievement which allows to explore the Sheet in detail, through the access to an excellent high definition
photographic document that offers features that are almost invisible to the naked eye, elements that not even the traditional Expositions have ever allowed to observe. This opportunity is made possible by the very high-definition image of the cloth achieved by Haltadefinizione® in 2008. This technology is also used in art field on works such as, among others, the Last Supper by Leonardo, and the most famous paintings by Botticelli. A digitalization process that recomposed 1649 snapshots into one single 12 billion pixels image, held in a 72 Gigabytes file, corresponding to the content of 16 DVDs.
Until today the dedicated Museum was the place which mostly offered the chance to approach the Shroud, excluding the Expositions, and the Turin Cathedral of Saint John where it is kept but not visible. But now, a kind of “Digital Exposition” shall be constantly available on the displays of anyone having an iPad or iPhone-probably in the future also for those using Android. Besides exploring the Shroud in every single spot with the touch screen picture, users will also be conducted along a knowledge and meditation journey by the technological device.
In fact, this application allows to enhance the understanding of the cloth in an interactive and dynamic way through a real virtual tour along four theme routes, currently available in Italian, Spanish, English and Portuguese, corresponding to four “navigation” options of the Sheet: story from the Gospels, elements of the cloth, elements of the figure, and scientific aspects.
For the first time in history the most detailed image of the Shroud ever achieved is available to the whole world, thanks to a streaming system, which allows a precise exploration – also in the “negative” version – wherever you are, without any time or distance restriction: each detail of the cloth can be magnified and visualized in a way which would otherwise not be possible. The utmost level of display of the image shall be available in the version with fee, at 3.59 euros, whereas the free version shall however offer a suggestive
perspective of the Shroud accompanied by the Evangelic background it witnesses.
The application also includes several data sheets about the details of the image, the scientific investigations, and the historical events relevant to the Shroud, which can directly be accessed at any time during the theme navigation. The data sheets are enriched with precious archive and documentation images that can be magnified on the screen, and that deal with the main topics: The Holy Shroud, Time line, The cloth, Forensic analysis, Haematology, Chemistry, Botanic, Carbon 14, Mathematics, IT,
The observation of the Shroud also offers unexpected discoveries, with the chance to move on the cloth’s surface seeking after rarely known details. Among which, for instance, the “wax drops”: in ancient times both private and public expositions were accompanied by a ceremony aimed at highlighting its importance and sacredness which involved the use of candles. In various spots of the Shroud, outside the imprint, you can notice small rounded shapes which, with the remarkable magnification achieved by the App, prove to
be wax stains, both red and white colour.
Likewise, another interesting aspect emerged thanks to the image by Haltadefinizione® are some little holes in the cloth that are visible only due to the remarkable magnification. This detail dates back to the 1898 exposition when, due to the wrong indication of the sheet’s dimensions, they had to face the problem of securing the Shroud to a wrong-sized frame. The problem was “solved” by using some drawing pins” whose marks are still visible in some marginal parts of the fabric.