SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Sacred and historic artifacts depicting the Shroud of Turin have a new home in Shreveport.
Many believe the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
It’s become the most studied historical artifact in history and has been depicted through countless paintings, engravings and art mediums.
LSU-Shreveport history professor Cheryl White and Father Peter Mangum obtained 2,000 pieces through a private collector.
That Indiana man heard their podcast and decided to pass the collection on to them.
Notre Dame University and the Shrine of our Lady of Fatima in Portugal were among others who wanted the collection.
And there are only a few places in the world where you can see these kinds of relics.
“This is the third largest collection of all Shroud-related objects in the world," Mangum said. “Turin, The Shroud of Turin being No. 1. Number 2, Chambery, France; it used to be there in France. And now No. 3, Shreveport.”
The collection includes engravings, artworks, coins, books and even a small piece of the shroud itself.
“I think that we both were shocked at not just the diversity of the collection as to how many different types of items we were talking about, but also the time periods that were represented," White said.
The pieces in this collection trace the history of the Shroud of Turin, who has owned and displayed it and how it’s been studied and revered throughout history.
These pieces will be on display in the near future in a new, permanent museum on the grounds of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans. The venue is expected to be a big tourism draw for Shreveport.
For now, a temporary exhibit has been set up alongside the church’s replica of the shroud.
And Mangum and White are excited not just to display the pieces but to teach about them as well.
“From a Christian-Catholic prospective, to be able to teach people about the Resurrection and the Shroud and what it would have actually meant and why people through the ages, century after century, depicted Jesus as they did based on the image we see in the Shroud," Mangum said.
“To say nothing of its sacred value," White added. “But from a purely cultural perspective, to have artworks that represent so many time periods and so many different types of art, this is very unique to Shreveport.”
The grand opening of the Shroud of Turin collection’s temporary home in Shreveport is set for Saturday. It coincides with the Feast of the Holy Shroud Day.
- 9 a.m.: Missa Cantata in the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans
- 10 a.m.: gathering in Multiroom of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, dedication, then viewing
- 11:15 a.m.: demonstration of the NASA VP8 analyzer by Janis Wincester
- 12:15 p.m.: luncheon with Barrie Schwortz, original photographer of the Shroud of Turin Research Project in 1978, including his presentation
The grand opening events are free and open to the public.
Also, Mayor Adrian Perkins has also declared Saturday as “The Museum of the Holy Shroud Day” in Shreveport.
And through July, you will be able to call the Cathedral of St. Johhn Berchmans to schedule a tour of the collection for groups of 10 or more.