More than one million people have already booked a spot to see the Turin Shroud, which went on display this week for the first time in five years.
Considered by many Christians to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, the Shroud will be on show in a climate-controlled case for 12 hours a day (from 7.30am to 7.30pm) at the cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy until 24 June.
Viewings of the Shroud, which will be limited to a few minutes, are free, but must be booked.
Around 2.5 million people saw the relic during its last public viewing in 2010.
The Shroud is a 4.4-metre long cloth imprinted with the image of a man who appears to have been crucified.
Although skeptics point to carbon dating that suggests the cloth is a medieval forgery from the 1300s, scientists have not yet agreed on how the image of a man was imprinted on the cloth.
The church does not official claim that Christ’s body was wrapped in the Shroud, but does value its significance to those who see it.
Turin Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia said the new display would be “an occasion that brings everybody together”.
“Even non-believers will come,” he said earlier this week.
“It is not a profession of faith because it is not an object of faith, nor of devotion, but it can help faith.”
According to AFP, local authorities hope the exhibition will help significantly boost the local economy.
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