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Shroud of Turin displayed

| April 11, 2010 9:00 PM

TURIN, Italy (AP) - The Shroud of Turin went on public display Saturday for the first time in 10 years, drawing long lines of people to see the linen some believe is Christ's burial cloth and others dismiss as a medieval fake. Turin Cardinal Severino Poletto led the opening ceremony in Turin's cathedral. He referred to the debate over the shroud's authenticity, saying it was "not up to the church but for science to decide."

TURIN, Italy (AP) - The Shroud of Turin went on public display Saturday for the first time in 10 years, drawing long lines of people to see the linen some believe is Christ's burial cloth and others dismiss as a medieval fake.

Turin Cardinal Severino Poletto led the opening ceremony in Turin's cathedral. He referred to the debate over the shroud's authenticity, saying it was "not up to the church but for science to decide."

By late Friday, 1.5 million people had reserved their three-to-five-minute chance to gaze at the cloth, which is kept in a bulletproof, climate-controlled case. Viewing continues through May 23.

Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to fly to Turin, in northwest Italy, on May 2 to pray before the shroud.

It is the first time the 14-foot-long, 3.5-foot-wide cloth has gone on public display since a special showing in 2000 during Millennium celebrations.

The Vatican has tiptoed around the issue of just what the cloth is, calling it a powerful symbol of Christ's suffering while making no claim to its authenticity.

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